Try googling “data-driven professional development.” That’s what I did this morning and it yielded over nine million results. But what’s all the buzz about? What kind of data is important to capture? And how can that data be used to drive professional development?
A few months ago, I came upon this article by Christina Quattrocchi at EdSurge. It spoke to so many of the themes we are seeing in professional development—the power of video, the challenges related to technology, the importance of individualizing professional development—that I just wanted to probe a bit deeper with Christina. As a reporter for EdSurge, Christina is talking to educators, ed tech companies, and leaders across the field about her passion: using technology to support teachers in improving their practice.
“Of course!” That was the reaction of many in the field of early childhood when the Head Start Reauthorization of 2007 (Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act) highlighted a critical component of high quality early childhood education by requiring the federal Office of Head Start (OHS) to include a reliable and valid way of observing and measuring teacher-child interactions in its program monitoring. Early childhood educators know, first-hand, how the individual, minute interactions between a teacher and child can serve as the foundation for strong relationships that have the power to change the lives of children at-risk of a host of lifelong challenges caused by poverty.
The rapid pace of human development in the first three years of life requires teachers and caregivers to be nimble. Whether a family member or teacher, you must be on your toes to effectively support a baby’s development, constantly gauging the child’s needs and changing your approach to meet those needs. With all this change occurring, how do we ensure that consistent, high quality care is provided during this critical time period, in which brain development profoundly impacts success later in life? Thankfully, we now have a plethora of brain science to understand the implications of the quality of experiences, like this excellent report from the Institute for Child Success.
Online learning is all the rage. With the advent of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), we have more opportunities than ever before to explore new information, perspectives, and people. Valuable online learning experiences are available for teachers, students, and professionals in nearly every field. For example, in K-12 and higher education, the concept of “the flipped classroom” is becoming more and more popular.