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Professional development is at the heart of most education reform movements in the past fifteen years and stands as the crux of improving student learning.

In 1998, Richard F. Elmore and Deanna Burney performed observations and research that resulted in the well-known study, “Improving Instruction through Professional Development in New York City’s Community District #2.” In the opening paragraph, Elmore and Burney state,

There is growing consensus among educational reformers that professional development for teachers and administrators lies [sic] at the center of the educational reform and instructional improvement. We know a good deal about the characteristics of good professional development, but not a good deal about how to organize successful professional development to influence practice in large numbers of schools and classrooms.

Elmore and Burney discovered professional development strategies that had worked, but they had yet to identify a scalable model to provide differentiated professional development en masse.

professional development

All educators face one particular obstacle when applying a “cure-all” system—no singular professional development system can cure it all. Not only are there many teachers with individual needs, but those teachers each have classrooms full of students with their own unique needs. The solution, then, is to provide differentiated professional development opportunities that accommodate all learning types for all learners.

Providing professional development of that magnitude is altogether unfeasible without an online, on-demand solution. An on-demand professional development system is the only method to provide personalized coaching to a mass audience.

At School Improvement Network, we have refined the process of providing differentiated professional development to schools and teachers throughout the United States and around the world. The PD 360 platform is the largest in the world, providing over 1,800 training videos on 117 topics from 120 experts with over 2,500 real classroom examples. As educators receive highly differentiated professional development from PD 360’s library of resources, they can also collaborate on the PD 360 Community. The Community welcomes over a million verified educators in the largest online professional learning community in the world.

Professional development improves education, because teachers continue the learning process and receive constant training from experts, colleagues, and peers. Teachers who follow structured professional development, set goals, and collaborate with peers are able to help students increase test scores beyond what had previously been considered possible. This trend is not a phenomenon—as a matter of fact, it is a cycle repeated in several other fields, including medical science.

As an example of professional development at work, doctors and scientists continually research their fields and publish findings that push the boundaries of the field continually further. This continued research and professional development expands the field such that practices and theories are replaced every few years with improved methods and new research. Educators who follow professional development stay current in best known practices and continually refine their methods and strategies to improve student learning.

School Improvement Network’s suite of on-demand professional development resources keeps educators on the forefront of education. PD 360 Mobile is the free mobile app that puts the entire professional development library on any Apple or Android device.Common Core 360 gives real classroom examples of Common Core integration.Observation 360 combines prescriptive technology, differentiated training, and facilitated reporting in one easy-to-use classroom walkthrough tool.

Discover the effective training and higher learning found in on-demand professional development. Call a professional development advisor (PDA) today at 800.572.1153 or click here to start a free 30-day, all-access trial license to PD 360.

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