Karen Johnson Charges Us To Innovate the Classroom AND Professional Development

While #studentvoice is important, students shouldn’t be the only ones reaping the benefits of fun, engaging, active social learning. Fortunately, by our definition, everyone can be a student!

Karen Johnson, edtech aficionado and Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, considers that exact point in her edSurge piece. Titled, “5 Things Teachers Want from PD, and How Coaching and Collaboration Can Deliver Them - If Implementation Improves,” Karen explains why educators should use the same awesome approach and tools they’re introducing in their classrooms, in their professional development.

Johnson laments, “even though educators acknowledge the weaknesses of presentation-based professional development, 80 percent of teachers still participate in a sit and get each year.” She lists, specifically, in professional learning opportunities, teachers seek:

  1. Relevance and personalized learning (two features celebrated in a Flipgrid discussion)
  2. Engagement (a cornerstone of Flipgrid’s being)
  3. Guidance from their peers (embodied in Flipgrid's peer-to-peer, social learning nature)
  4. Conversation that extends beyond a specific date and time (encapsulated by Flipgrid’s asynchronous nature)
  5. To be treated as a professional (Flipgrid gives everyone an equal voice - educators, coaches, and students alike)

Expanding on this list, Johnson discusses the issues with current professional development, challenges faced by educators, and a charge to make learning better for everyone. She summarizes that “we owe it to [educators] to find new ways to ensure that PD is relevant, interactive, and sustained over time.”

Well said, Karen. Join the growing community of educators using Flipgrid, the collaborative, active video platform, with Professional Development!