Tag Archives: PD

Immersive Learning for Teacher PD

Teacher

One of the most emergent and rapidly mutating forms of online and computer-based learning is “immersive environments.” As its name suggests, an immersive environment allows learners to be totally “immersed” in a self-contained artificial or simulated environment while experiencing it as real. Immersive environments can offer learners rich and complex content-based learning while also helping learners hone their technical, creative, and problem-solving skills. Because immersive environments are so rich and visual, users tend to be highly engaged.
For the most part, immersive environments are still used more for student learning than for teacher learning. Though this is changing, immersive environments for teacher pre- and in-service education are most conspicuous by their absence. Immersive environments can offer many of the same learning opportunities for teachers—development of content knowledge, behavioral skills, creativity, higher-order thinking and persistence (all critical characteristics of good teachers)—as they do for students. Though not without their limitations, which will be discussed here, the use of immersive learning for teacher professional learning, at the very least, warrants more investigation or “test driving” than is currently the case.
Full Text: elearn Magazine: Immersive Learning for Teacher Professional Development.

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How One School District Conquers Blended Learning

Teachers in Academy District 20 get exposed to blended learning by doing it. | Photo courtesy of Nancy White
Teachers in Academy District 20 get exposed to blended learning by doing it. | Photo courtesy of Nancy White

In many professional development sessions at schools, you’ll find teachers sitting in a room and listening to lectures. But one Colorado school district has flipped that model upside down.
Academy District 20 in Colorado Springs is an example of one district that encourages teachers to practice blended learning for themselves, so that they can effectively bring it into the classroom.
The district just wrapped up its first year of professional development using blended learning, through a combination of online and face-to-face activities. It went so well that two fourth-grade teachers said they want it to continue next year.
“I feel like I’ve gained so much knowledge in all different kinds of areas of how to use technology in the classroom,” Janice Theda said.
Full Text: How One School District Conquers Blended Learning.

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