New Models for Professional Development?

scratchingWhen I was at the October MEMO Conference, I heard media specialists talking about new ways to provide professional development to their teachers. Some were doing screencasting of the content they needed to teach, then were putting that captured video in a handy place on their website for teachers. In this model, teachers could access the lesson at the precise time they needed to learn. This model is sometimes referred to as “just in time” learning.

Others were talking about structured events where teachers worked in groups to learn about using new tools or methods to deliver their curriculum. Apparently, a strong bond developed amongst teachers who worked together in these groups. So when I saw the following post on the SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education blog, talking about teacher learning communities, I was intrigued. According to the post, “The one-size-fits-all model of professional development available to most teachers does not work, veteran teacher Katrina Stevens writes in this blog post. Stevens suggests a learning community model with daily, ongoing PD focused on student learning. “In order to successfully implement new practices and improve student learning, a learning community needs to 1) focus its efforts, 2) work collaboratively, 3) be willing to reflect and examine what’s working and 4) be willing to make adjustments when they aren’t seeing the desired outcomes for students,” she writes. Read the full blog post at SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education

This is well and good for how we work with teachers and students, but what about media specialists? How do you learn best? Is there a learning community model that best fits your needs? If there isn’t one, could we build one?