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Humans are the Future of EdTech: Professional Development's Role

The future of education is in technology. How many times have you heard that statement over the last three years or so? Now what about this one: professional development is a waste of money. Well, it looks like a recent Washington Post article might be alluding to that, however, rather than suggesting it should be cut completely, the article points towards reinventing PD.

“We are bombarding teachers with a lot of help, but the truth is, it’s not helping all that much,” said Dan Weisberg, TNTP’s chief executive, according to the report.

“We are not approaching this in a very smart way. We’re basically throwing a lot of things against the wall and not even looking to see whether it works.”

After completing a study the organization didn’t find many answers as to why some teachers were able to up their performance in the classroom after professional development and why some could not.

However, the article doesn’t suggest getting rid of professional development all together but to revamp it in a way that is cost efficient, effective and geared towards the future of student learning, according to EdTech Magazine.

The EdTech Magazine shared the Washington Post’s suggestion, which follows a three R’s formula: redefine, reevaluate and reinvention.

“Define ‘development’ clearly, as observable, measurable progress toward an ambitious standard for teaching and student learning,” said the EdTech Magazine report.

“Give teachers a clear, deep understanding of their own performance and progress. Encourage improvement with meaningful rewards and consequences.”

Redefinition of professional development is the start to a more successful future in professional development.

Meanwhile, for the last steps in furthering professional development, the article suggests “balancing investments in development with investments in recruitment, compensation and smart retention, reconstructing the teacher’s job, redesigning schools to extend the reach of great teachers and reimagine how we train and certify teachers for the job.”

While worrying about technology is at the forefront of education, revamping the way that professional development is carried out should also be among the goals for the future of education.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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