Teachers who took professional development courses online improved their teaching practices and subject knowledge, and produced learning gains for their students. This according to a new study released by e-Learning for Educators, a 10-state consortium funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready to Teach program and led by Alabama Public Television.
In collaboration with a variety of technology-related organizations and nonprofits, EDC will co-host a nonpartisan inaugural event on January 20, 2009, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Throughout the evening, a specially-created multi-media networking site will broadcast live video from the event and from inaugural celebrations across the country.
Because cystic fibrosis (CF) heightens risk of infection, teens are isolated from those who could give them much-needed support: other teens with CF. But now, with help from EDC, they will be able to connect via the Internet.
EDC researchers are analyzing what works in online professional development programs by studying Teachers’ Domain, a program for high school science teachers. Offered by PBS TeacherLine, the program uses science materials and multimedia resources to deepen teachers’ knowledge of science content and enhance their teaching skills.
Staying informed about rapidly changing fields like genetics and evolution can be challenging for today’s science teachers, and many are turning to online programs to help them keep pace. But even as the number of online professional development programs is growing, very little is known about their effectiveness.
At a time when many schools are being pushed to narrow their focus and concentrate on core academic subjects like reading and mathematics, afterschool programs are being pulled in a dozen different directions. Program directors wrestle with a range of questions as they try to meet the diverse needs of funders, parents, and the young people they serve. Should afterschool time be an extension of school, focused on tutoring and homework help? Or a break from school, focused on sports, fitness, arts, and hobbies?
Generating classroom discussions with high school students can be arduous work, requiring both careful planning and quick thinking. EDC’s Center for Science Education has developed an online course focused on helping teachers pose questions and manage classroom discussions that are both more engaging for students and more scientific in substance.
For students who are struggling with math, finding exciting and engaging ways to interest them in the subject and help them succeed can be a difficult task. There is no shortage of web sites and software packages that help students practice their skills, but these can often lead to frustration for students. Integrating math with other disciplines into hands-on, project-based learning activities can transform math from a daunting and overwhelming subject to an approachable and practical set of skills.
In an effort to provide more choices and expanded educational opportunities to their clients, many community technology centers (CTCs) are turning to online learning. ACC recently spoke with two programs funded under the Department of Education CTC grant program that provide online courses as part of their program offerings. These experiences capture both the promises and pitfalls of online learning and show its potential to complement the great work CTCs across the country are already doing.
This fall nearly 800 new teachers have entered classrooms in the Milwaukee Public Schools for the first time. According to recent statistics from the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, upwards of half of them will be gone by the fall of 2008. Like school leaders across the country, administrators in Milwaukee are working hard to slow down this revolving door in the profession and keep their best teaching talent in the classroom.
For EDC Senior Vice President Vivian Guilfoy, who has spent more than a decade working in the fields of community technology and youth development, one of the signs of progress is a blurring of boundaries. “The days of distinction between formal and informal education have come to an end,” says Guilfoy, director of EDC’s Center for Education, Employment, and Community (CEEC).
The End-violence Virtual Working Group is an Internet discussion list sponsored by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the World Bank, and the Global Knowledge Partnership, and developed and moderated by EDC’s International Development Division (IDD).
It is fitting that Mildred Solomon named the book she edited The
Diagnostic Teacher. In her two decades of work at EDC, she has
researched and designed numerous professional education programs
for teachers and health care professionals.
How do we know that a new approach works, adding to a practitioner’s knowledge, effectiveness, and ability? And if it does work, how can we use the model to reach more practitioners? These questions are central to two of EDC’s latest experiments with online professional development.