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.

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. 

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Math Learning Center Releases Free Teacher Resource Guides

The Math Learning Center's Box It or Bag It is a math program that provides a year's worth of whole group and independent practice for K–2 students.

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The classroom is a buzz of opinions. Teacher Liz Kleinrock tries to keep up, capturing the comments on an easel pad. What has gotten these fourth graders so engaged? The subject of systemic racism.

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The pandemic provides the perfect backdrop for that age-old game of isolation, Solitaire. The Notable Women in Tech organization has created a created a deck of cards for that premiere solitaire destination, Solitaired, showcasing prominent women in computing.

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15 Essential Future Proofing Strategies and “Do Now” Activities

Let’s get started and put on our designer hats to experience 15 essential “future proofing” and “do now” activities and strategies to inspire new critical thinking and reflection! 

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Managing Remote Learning: Advice from a Reseller

Initiating and managing a remote learning strategy to support virutal, online, and hybrid instruction is a challenging task. This resource includes a collection of tips and strategies to help keep instruction steady and minimize disruption.

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Reunite, Renew, and Thrive: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Roadmap for Reopening School is a free, downloadable roadmap to help renew school communities through relationship-building and authentic partnerships.

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Three Free Creative Tools to Up Your Teaching Game

With remote instruction, teachers require a greater degree of imagination and agility than ever before.  These three free creative apps can help teachers to enhance this new education landscape.  

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Talent Management: Reinventing K-12 Learning Experiences

The door is open to reimagining what a new educational teaching and learning system could look like. The visionary leadership and choices that we invest in today will transform our future school experiences for everyone.

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PBL World 2020: How a Virtual Conference Made a Real Impact

Keeping people engaged via Zoom over the course of three days is no easy task, but PBL World yielded a fruitful virtual experience. Here are my takeaways…

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The Mother Load: Learning, Teaching, and Parenting

I put on my "ed tech instructional designer" hat and began teaching my kids from home the only way I knew how: a way I had unknowingly been preparing for for a decade.

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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