When it comes to educators across the globe, there is a myriad of instructional styles meant to meet the needs of diverse learners. This makes being an educator one of the most challenging careers - coupled with rising expectations, demands on continued professional training, and stagnant salaries. According to the National Education Association, some sources estimate that 50 percent of current teachers will either retire or leave the profession in the next five to seven years. Another source identifies the problem of attrition at a rate hovering near 8% a year with higher rates for beginning teachers and teachers in high-poverty schools.
With this rise in teacher turnover, we’ve also noticed an exponential rise in professional learning communities. This is because educators are banding together on platforms like Twitter, Voxer, or through Edumatch, to encourage and support each other, as well as share resources. It’s through this open access mindset that committed educators are thriving and continuing to offer high quality educational opportunities.
It’s also that same mindset that has brought a new wave of professional development opportunities to the career. Schools are seeing a need for differentiated trainings based on varying needs and ability levels of staff, organizations are changing the delivery method of professional development to reduce the cost incurred when teachers are removed from the classrooms, and states are realizing they need a different model of PD in a dynamically changing educational world.
These are just some of the factors that have helped shift the PD landscape in education to include choice in place, time, and even content. Online PD fits this niche by offering fully online facilitated trainings, blended opportunities, and webinars, where educators are able to access high quality professional development which meets their needs as lifelong learners while satisfying school, district, and/or state requirements.
One of the platforms that provides educators access to high quality, online PD is called EduPaths. Created by educators for educators, EduPaths is accessible 24/7, so participants can find, choose, and complete trainings when and where it’s most convenient for them. With more than 200 courses on topics from data and assessment to curriculum to school improvement to leadership. Once enrolled, educators can search a catalogue of courses, ranging in time. EduPaths courses are short - 15-75 minutes - so educators can complete their learning when it’s convenient for them.
EduPaths also offers a personalized transcript that can be used as proof of course completion and to demonstrate their commitment to professional growth. And if users get stuck or have technical issues, EduPaths offers support via phone, email, or an online ticket system.
Learn more about what good online PD looks like on October 17th at 2:30pm EST in a webinar titled "Best Practices for Scaling Your K-12 Online Professional Development" hosted by the creators of EduPaths.
GISD Instructional Technologist & EduPaths Project Manager
EduPaths Instructional Designer