Blended Learning: Making Professional Development Relevant and Meaningful

How can we do things differently and help teachers find the time they need to come together and collaborate?

The U.S. spends $14 billion dollars a year on professional development that teachers often say doesn’t come close to meeting their needs. 

Vicki Phillips tackles this problem at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. How can we do things differently and help teachers find the time they need to come together and collaborate? How can we make professional development relevant and meaningful to them as individuals and as a collective?

Phillips has devised a program for teachers to leverage each other’s work, an approach that can be utilized in companies and organizations too. This involves:

• Identifying clear goals, expectations and desired outcomes. 

• Using data to track progress. 

• Adjusting programs as needed based on results. 

• Combining quantitative evidence with qualitative reports from practitioners in the field. 

In a lesson on Big Think Edge, the only forum on YouTube designed to help you get the skills you need to be successful in a rapidly changing world, we consider the following questions:

-How does your organization gather information from employees in order to improve employee training and development programs?

-Do you feel your input is adequately captured and implemented?

-Are there opportunities for collaboration and peer-to-peer coaching within your organization?

-Do you find you learn as much from sharing your knowledge with others as you do from having others teach you? 

Sign up for a free trial subscription on Big Think Edge and watch Phillip's lesson here:

For expert video content to inspire, engage and motivate your employees, visit Big Think Edge

Watch the video below and sign up for your free trial to Big Think Edge today. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less