Keep an eye on the evolution of a powerful new FREE teacher PD resource, the Sanford Inspire Program, out of Arizona State University. Funded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Denny Sanford, they are in the process of building an impressive line-up of free online modules to support teachers, particularly those early in their careers. The modules are created by educators, for educators, and are accompanied by tons of resources to download and use. Each module is designed to take about 60 minutes, and successful completion can be tracked via a certification routine.
Do these modules represent “Education 3.0”, the leading edge of a deeper, transformed learning ecosystem? Right now the modules appear to be focused on some pretty basic, essential classroom management and teaching strategies. We all wish that our teachers came out of college education programs already prepared with these skills, but the facts are otherwise. What peaks my interest particularly is that, going forward, the program will likely focus on areas of student engagement and differentiation, two key elements of a deeper learning system.
My advice: check out a couple modules; get a few teachers kicking this tire, and think about adding it to your toolkit of frequent, accessible, affordable, high-quality professional growth resources.