Recognize educators across the organization who use technology effectively to enable high-impact teaching and learning.
In a post from February 2022, Meaningful Feedback in Online Professional Development, attention is given to the value of collaborative professional learning communities, particularly in online learning environments. These are sometimes referred to as Communities of Practice (COP), Professional Learning Communities (PLC), or Communities of Inquiry (COI). Regardless of the exact title or any nuanced differences between these three communities, these groups consist of members who gather around shared experiences and/or goals and create their own communication channels (often digitally-mediated) for facilitating the sharing of knowledge and tools and to critical discourse in a manner that is beneficial for professional growth for each of its members. COPs are inherently collaborative, and though coaches, mentors, or experts may participate in COPs, peer interaction and collaboration are at the heart of a COP, and thus everyone has something to share, and everyone has something to learn. COPs serve as a promising way to deliver timely, effective, relevant, and individualized support for adult learners while simultaneously decreasing the need for feedback coming solely from “experts.” In other words, they can empower educators to be experts in their own particular way and share effective teaching strategies accordingly.
Additionally, in the March 2022 post What If Professional Development Could Be…Fun!?, EdCamps and gamified, team-based professional development activities are highlighted as ways to create spaces for leadership development and peer-mentoring, especially when new technology tools are involved.