Professional Learning

Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs, have become crucial in designing school-wide strategies dedicated to helping students achieve their potential. The resources included in this toolkit are intended to help you meet the challenges presented by today’s educational landscape through effective professional learning and development opportunities.

All Professional Learning toolkit files

A zip file containing all downloadable Professional Learning Toolkit resources  

What is a Professional Learning Community?

Teachers working collaboratively and holding themselves accountable for the results

The Changing Role of Teachers

New tasks and challenges call for developing new abilities and setting aside old habits

Components of a Successful PLC

A comprehensive checklist that details what all thriving Professional Learning Communities have in common

Developing a Professional Learning Community

How principals can convince their staff that implementing a Professional Learning Community is worthwhile

Building Leadership

The role of the principal is critical in creating a school-wide environment of collaboration

Implement Effective Professional Learning Communities

A checklist for principals in creating a culture of continuous learning for their schools

PLC Peer Observation

Structured peer observations help teachers improve learning for all students

Mentoring and PLCs

Professional Learning Communities can act as dynamic support systems for teachers

PLC Teams

Utilize existing team structures and focus on what effective teams do to help all kids learn

How PLCs Impact Student Success

A PLC gets teachers working together as members of a high-performing, collaborative team  

The School District as a PLC

The PLC concept can extend beyond teachers and schools when district leaders become emphatic about district-wide learning goals

Developing a Learning Community

This resource from Microsoft* offers simple steps on launching enriching Learning Communities.

Learning Communities and Support

This Microsoft* resource offers ‘anytime, anywhere’ approaches to K-12 learning and explores new technology for transforming learning outcomes.

Building Leader Educator Capacity

This Microsoft* Education Transformation Framework helps fast track system-wide transformation by summarizing decades of quality research.

Teacher and Leader Capacity

This Microsoft* resource shares research revealing that top schools place an intensive focus on training, mentoring and collaborative working groups.

Seven Lessons Learned From Implementing Micro-credentials

This Friday Institute for Educational Innovation resource explores opportunities for educators to engage in rigorous professional learning.

Micro-Credentials and Professional Learning

Micro-credentials create new pathways for professional development: making learning more relevant to a teacher’s needs.  

 

State Digital Learning Exemplars

This Friday Institute for Educational Innovation resource examines how states are providing digital learning opportunities. 

Social Network Formation and its Impact on Learning

Written for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation MOOC Research Initiative, this report explores peer interaction in MOOCs for K-12 educators.

Implementation Stories: Rhode Island

This resource chronicles the experiences of Rhode Island school leaders with the Leadership in Blended and Digital Learning (LBDL) program.

The Digital Learning Transition MOOC for Educators

The Alliance and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation offers lessons learned about new approaches to professional development.

Five Tips For First-rate PD

From specificity to inclusivity, these five tips help simplify and energize the professional learning process.

 

Rethinking Professional Learning and Assessment

Teacher-created assessments that have students applying skills to meaningful tasks directly connects assessments to curriculum.

Content-Focused, Expert-Led Collaboration at Achievement First

This ERS brief explores how Achievement First ignites the engine of professional learning. 

Drafting an Effective Professional Learning Plan

Drafting a professional learning plan is a critical step in setting teachers up for success.

Finding Time for Collaborative Planning

In this brief, ERS shares practical strategies for how principals can create more collaborative planning time.  

Frequent, Growth-Oriented Feedback at DC Public Schools

This ERS brief details how DC Public Schools connects professional learning to day-to-day instruction. 

Comprehensive Curricula and Assessments in Louisiana

In this brief, ERS shares how the Louisiana Department of Education is improving teacher learning.

Modeling Student-Centered Professional Learning

Professional learning should be teacher-centered: allowing educators to experience student-centered learning strategies in action.

Supporting Teachers with Design Thinking

Design Thinking can take root in a teacher’s pedagogy, laying the foundation for students to become independent learners. 

 

Google Classroom for Professional Learning

With Google Classroom, educators from different schools are brought together through profound professional development experiences. 

Get Cross-functional with Teacher Proficiency

The intersection of support from leadership, peer coaching, and measurable outcomes provide a collaborative forum for teachers.

Building the Next Generation of Teacher Training

Professional learning needs an inquiry process that encourages and supports educators as they engage in the impact of their development. 

Four Elements of Personalized Professional Learning

The Future Ready Schools framework for personalized professional learning is poised to meet the needs of today’s schools.   

 

Building Teacher Autonomy

Establishing a culture of continuous improvement provides the structure teachers need to become empowered and to help students to be successful. 

Teamwork Takes This Texas District’s 1:1 Program to the Next Level

It’s been several years since we first profiled Klein ISD’s one-to-one program. In this update we look at what’s happened over eight years in this pioneering district.

BYO, Chromebooks and Innovative Learning in Southeast Texas

A robust wireless infrastructure, Google Apps for Education, student-owned devices, and Acer Chromebooks are the perfect backdrop for innovative classroom learning in Dayton ISD.

A 1:1 Inquiry-Based High School Shares Its Vision

Thanks to a new partnership with Dell, Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy will be rolling out Chromebooks to all of its students and teachers as a tool to allow inquiry-driven, project-based learning to happen, and serve as a model for other schools in the country. 

Community Support and Personalized Learning in Clear Creek ISD

Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD) in Texas began its 1:1 initiative in a thoughtful and careful manner, by involving community members in the planning process, investing heavily in professional learning, and gradually phasing in devices across the district.

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Ten Ed-Tech Conferences for Fall

'Tis the season to build your skills, network with others, and grow your ed-tech aptitude like never before. Here are the conferences we're particularly excited about this fall.

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Five Things to Know about Design Thinking

Design thinking is a pretty hot topic for teachers and for schools. David Jakes has invested five years learning design and shares his five key points to consider.

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Open Up to OER at the Florida Open Educational Resources Summit

Want to rub shoulders with OER thought leaders to learn more about harnessing the full power of Open Educational Resources? Then head down to Florida on September 7-8 for Florida’s first Open Educational Resources Summit, sponsored by Florida Virtual Campus. Director of Open Education Cable Green will be joined by other national and campus leaders involved in defining and driving OER strategy and initiatives to lead a variety of thoughtful discussions.  

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Beyond the #ISTE17 Conference

I have learned from attending ISTE as well as other conferences the importance of taking the time to review key learnings and connections. Typically, the entire time at a conference you are on the go both physically and mentally.  During sessions, you take copious notes and while strolling around the exhibit hall, poster sessions or playground areas one amasses a small amount of collateral as a reminder.  Now that you are home the real work begins, making sense of all you returned home with. 

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Gender Equity is Common Sense

According to a new report released by Common Sense Media, stereotypes in movies and on TV that perpetuate rigid gender roles can affect children's sense of self, relationships, and career aspirations. 

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Don’t Miss Another Can’t-Miss Ed-Tech Event

The EdSurge Can’t-Miss K-12 Education Technology Events for 2017-2018 calendar lists the locations and dates for most of the major K-12 conferences happening in the coming year.  

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Leader of the Year Winners and Runner-Up Donna Teuber

Tech & Learning magazine has named its 2017 Leader of the Year winners, as well as runner-up K-12 Blueprint blogger and Innovation Program Designer, Richland School District Two, South Carolina, Donna Teuber.

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Sharing Innovation with Leadership Labs

Melissa Lim shares what Portland Public Schools is doing during Instructional Leadership Academies with school leaders. 

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Students use Windows devices to do their schoolwork.
Microsoft Technology Planning Resources

Microsoft works with hundreds of thousands of schools and school systems to solve big problems. Here are resources to guide school leaders as they transform schools with a vision to empower students to achieve more.

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Five Ideas to Go Beyond SAMR

How deep is the learning in your technology integration? Get the latest strategies for incorporating powerful learning by applying SAMR in your classrooms.

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The K-12 Blueprint: Produced by Clarity Innovations

Clarity Innovations matches the most promising technology with the evolving needs of education. By merging creativity, technology, and pedagogy, we create powerful learning experiences. Learn More