Professional development in teaching

Professional Development in Teaching for 21st-Century Schools

Professional development in teaching helps career-minded educators to acquire relevant skillsets to be more contented with their quality of work. It also instills a sense of confidence in them and results in better student success.

Since last few years, the education landscape is booming with educational technology. As a result, the designs of professional development programs have also undergone a major change.

Today these programs are way beyond just the classroom management skills and methods of instructional delivery! Instead, they focus more on the technological upskilling of instructors to meet the expectations of the industry.

Eminent researchers of the world have acknowledged the power of digital learning

&

they believe that technology is a tool to bring our education industry from the dark age to a light age!

But all this is possible by the support and empowerment of our teaching workforce. Let’s discover this aspect in more detail.

The Scope of Development Programs for Professionals-

In this digital age, the scope of upskilling teachers is not limited to the teaching workforce because it effectively supports various other aspects across the education process.

Carefully planned professional development strategies for teachers aim at high-impact. Technological upskilling makes them proficient in the latest pedagogies, technology and ways of instructional delivery for greater student success.

These programs acquaint teaching professionals with technological advancement in the field of education. This knowledge in turn strengthens their ways of content delivery, work management and strategizing techniques.

These advanced digital skillsets not only help educators to be more proficient with their ongoing teaching profile but also makes them desirable prospects for global job opportunities.

We all know that the current job market welcomes professionals who have a practical understanding of the best curriculum design software.

Now with 100% online schools, these professionals have options to take up highly paid

full-time or part-time work from home jobs.

Teachers are an important pillar of the tripolar education process & professional development in teaching with technological upskilling brings out the best in them!

As a process, education revolves around the teaching environment. Now that the world is changing at an incredibly fast pace, our students need to be equipped with 21st-century relevant skills. This is possible only with the handholding by their expert teachers. So, by upskilling our teachers we help our students to become global citizens and match the pace of the world.

Now let us explore some prominent benefits of technological upskilling that leads to professional development of teachers-

  • Improves the existing knowledge and makes teachers more responsible:

Technological upskilling creates a sound level of understanding about the latest Ed-tech resources and appraises teachers about some interesting ways of utilizing these. They learn some practical classroom management skills and shoulder their responsibilities better.

Nowadays, a high level of tech-intelligence is also needed to differentiate between authentic and fake sources of information because not everything that we see and find over the internet is completely credible.

Once the teacher knows how to pick and identify valid sources of information, he/she also disseminates right information to students. This knowledge makes them more trustworthy as they answer questions more accurately.

In other words, educators with sound technical knowledge are ‘trusted adults’

in this technology-driven world!

  • Teachers become resourceful:

Professional development activities for teachers ease the process of imparting ‘elaborate education’ across all stages of formal education. This means that teachers with highly developed tech skills are competent to utilize online resources well.

Tech-savvy instructors are resourceful and know how to plan a tailored educational experience for all learners. Their knowledge of various digital tools also simplifies the process of content creation.

Tech-savvy teachers use audio lectures, podcasts, high-quality engaging videos, recorded sessions, e-mails, power point slides effortlessly. And needless to say, all this improves the quality and accessibility of their instructional delivery. 

  • Helps to handle challenges in the technology-driven world:

In a world where chalk-and-talk are outdated styles, there are new opportunities and even a new set of challenges for us. Today, an educator needs to possess a sound understanding of issues like plagiarism, cyberbullying and data misuse in order to identify and address them effectively.

Again, technological upskilling through professional development in teaching is great to improve the educator’s knowledge base about these potential threats. These programs help professionals to gain an understanding of counseling, expectation setting and handling of these serious issues.

Overall, they help teachers to gain knowledge about issues of academic dishonesty and compliance so they become more vigilant and proactive at each step.

  • Strategies for classroom management and learner-centric education:

Ed-tech has advanced the 21st-century learning environment to a more engaging, student-centric and interactive educational setting.

With these developmental programs, teachers utilize the most promising curriculum design software because of which they become capable of creating content/strategies/techniques that help in personalizing a student’s learning.

These technology-driven strategies for classroom management help them to channelize the energy of all learners. As a result, they manage to keep learners engaged for a longer time and that too purposefully.

  • Long-term career benefits:

We know that the global post-pandemic recession has greatly added to our existing set of difficulties. As a result, our current workforce demands are now a complex combination of various time-driven factors.

As per the ‘Future of Jobs Report’ by the ‘World Economic Forum’, 76% of the total

share of companies in the education sector will adopt artificial intelligence and other

machine learning technologies by the year 2025.

This shows that the face of our educational processes in the upcoming 4 years will be mostly virtual and professionals with advanced tech knowledge and relevant skillsets will be more desirable!

Keeping all these facts in mind, we need stronger and better development programs with relevant tech-based professional development activities for teachers as it will be impossible to crack good job opportunities without this level of relevant knowledge.

  • Makes lesson planning and preparations easier:

Teaching is a demanding career and needs rigorous preparation before the instructional delivery. The best curriculum design software and high level of tech knowledge brings down the human effort of creating/preparing lesson plans.

Technological upskilling also adds value to the prepared lesson plans and modules. It makes the teacher’s presentations more appealing and eliminates chances of human errors. All this also saves productive time and they manage to plan and execute their lessons without any wastage of time. 

Nowadays, educators can use applications, websites, and pre-designed lesson plan templates readily available over the internet to shorten the tedious process of preparations.

Overall, it makes the processes more sorted and allows more time for other aspects of planning such as general strategies for classroom management, etc.

  • Simplifies assessments :

Teaching and learning processes are incomplete without assessments. Hence, professional development in teaching programs train teachers to use the latest technological aids and automated tools to assess and monitor a student’s learning progress. These automated monitoring mechanisms pinpoint even the most minute learning gaps.

Additionally, these intelligent solutions are also perfect to identify the missing strings in a student’s conceptual understanding. And the educator can use this information/data/feedback to alter instructional delivery.

The best example of these advanced mechanisms is the assessment tools used in top accredited schools. These visionary platforms make use of artificial intelligence and are known for their advanced monitoring designs.

Digital tools are also cheat-proof and help teachers to keep an eagle eye on any attempts of academic dishonesty.   

Technological upskilling is an instrument to adapt to the crucial and all-new post-

pandemic world!

World Bank calls the pandemic time ‘extraordinary for learning’ because it got the world closer to its future learning designs. From strategies for classroom management to remote learning pedagogies, this duration was all about adapting to the virtual learning environment for all stakeholders.

Unfortunately, several educators across the world struggled with online teaching at this time since they lacked the basic knowledge of the most effective online teaching pedagogies. All these challenges of our teaching professionals also affected the student community adversely which led to the loss of valuable time.

This experience has taught us the value of preparations for the unforeseen. It has once again reiterated the relationship between the instructor’s abilities and general student success.

The 21st-century educational landscape has transformed the role of a teacher into a

mentor, guide, and most importantly a FACILITATOR!

Hence, helping teachers with the use of Ed-tech is also synonymous with improving the student’s learning!

So, all you teachers out there, get ready to sharpen your tech-skills and embellish your teaching with the boon of educational technology!

All the best!

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