In a 2009 study, the Center for Public Education released Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability, a national research report indicating that “most professional development today is ineffective.” Ninety percent of teachers reported having participated in professional development (PD), and the majority of those teachers also reported that it was “totally useless.”
These shortcomings of traditional professional development have caused educators to turn to Twitter for more interactive, robust, and personalized forms of PD.
But What Now?
The numbers and data are great, but what do they all mean? How can we use the findings of these studies to enhance our professional development? How can we translate this research into practice to better inform our own professional development, either in our schools or on our own? Here are four tips for how to be proactive in your professional development:
1. Take Action
Plan to meet with your administrators, directors, and providers of professional development. Show them the facts. Organize a strategy where you can implement social learning into your traditional PD schedule.
2. Get Connected
Jump on Twitter! If you’re not already connected, signing up is easy.
3. Join a Twitter Chat
After you’ve signed up, get yourself involved in Twitter chats such as #AAMCGFA and other important hashtags. In these chats, you will follow a hashtag at a particular time and see questions posted by moderators. Anyone can respond by adding the hashtag to his or her tweet. You can simply read through tweets if you aren’t ready to participate, but once you do join in and start sharing your own experiences and ideas, you’ll realize just how much you can learn.
4. Stay Connected
- Center for Public Education. Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability (PDF, 631KB). National School Boards Association.
- Carpenter, J., & Krutka, D. (2014). “How and Why Educators Use Twitter: A Survey of the Field.” Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46(4), 414-434.