Start Your Year with Personalized Professional Development

 

Curious how Atomic Learning can work for your district? Read below as Shawna Ford describes how Weatherford ISD is maximizing their use of Atomic Learning. Shawna is a Future Ready Learning Coordinator, connected educator and one of our newest Learning Ambassadors.  You can connect with her on Twitter as she shares relevant educational technology resources. 

How is Atomic Learning working to help align with your district goals? 

In Weatherford ISD, we are focused on creating a personalized learning environment for ALL learners in our district, including our adult learners.  We recently spent some time on a new strategic plan which includes our belief statements. One of our belief statements is “Teachers are constant learners, problem-solvers and collaborators.” Atomic Learning provides the opportunity for our teachers to learn what they want when they want, encouraging constant learning.

How are you promoting Atomic Learning in your district? 

As we prepare to go 1:1 at the 7th grade level next fall, we have incorporated Atomic Learning in the preparations this year. Using Canvas as our LMS, we have found that it is easy to include Atomic Learning modules in our online course for the 1:1 teachers. Atomic Learning has been shared at leadership meetings with principals, who in turn share it with their campuses. In addition, we use monthly newsletters to remind educators about using Atomic Learning as a professional learning tool as well as offer an “Atomic Learning” badge through our WISD Professional Learning Badges program. This year, we have been very intentional in promoting this tool as a valuable resource for meeting personalized learning goals in our district.

What topics did you encourage them to explore in Atomic Learning? 

In looking at data from a variety of surveys, we know that our teachers want to learn more ways to incorporate technology effectively into their daily instruction. To help with this, some of the topics that we encourage our teachers to explore are SAMR, 1:1 tools & techniques and the 4 C’s. The new Hoonuit modules are perfect for our teachers, as they model what we would want to see in the classroom. The modules offer a wealth of information in an easy to digest format and with the “Do It” component, educators are able to immediately apply their new learning. It has also been very helpful that Atomic Learning includes modules on Canvas, as well as a module on Google Apps for Education. These trainings help support teachers as they work on their own to acquire new knowledge and skills to use with their students.

Does Atomic Learning align to the personal goal or PD plan? 

In Weatherford ISD, like many other districts, our teachers set professional goals each year as part of the appraisal system we use. Quite often, these goals involve technology or other “future ready” skills.  Atomic Learning offers hundreds of trainings to support these goals,  an easy way for them to keep up with their progress, as well as documentation that they can use during end of year conferences with administrators.

Our district asks our teachers to participate in at least two days of professional development outside of normal school hours. These two days can then be used during the school year to replace  professional development days. Atomic Learning offers a wide range of topics for our teachers who may not have been able to attend professional development offered by the district during the summer. In addition, it can extend professional learning sessions offered by the district and provide additional support for our teachers.

Any other thoughts they would like to share? 

Although we have had access to Atomic Learning for several years, we found that our teachers weren’t using this valuable resource. To help with this, we have been very intentional about sharing this resource with teachers and administrators this year. We now have campus administrators using Atomic Learning for PLCs and assigning modules that meet the needs of their teachers. We are excited about how Atomic Learning supports the professional learning of our teachers in Weatherford and the flexibility we have within this program.

 

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