Ohio is a Future Ready state and is committed to ensuring that every student has a "rigorous, personalized learning environment filled with caring adults" (Ohio Department of Education). According to their website, Ohio Future Ready believes that students should own their learning, and that districts can maximize student learning with the alignment of technology and instructional goals. In their partnership with the Washington DC-based Alliance for Excellent Education, the Ohio Department of Education offers the Future Ready Framework, an interactive planning dashboard to help districts see the vision of, plan for, and build in personalized learning. When student learning is personalized, learners have the opportunity to develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, effective communication, and metacognition.
INFOhio and the Management Council support personalized learning and encourage districts to pursue the Future Ready Ohio vision. The Are You Ready? blog series will help school and district leaders—superintendents, principals, tech integration specialists and coaches, and teachers and librarians—identify the INFOhio resources, tools, content, and features that contribute to the Future Ready Framework. These posts serve to foster district alignment with the goals established by the framework's assessments and guidelines. Each post in the series will address how INFOhio supports student learning by explaining how our content aligns with and supports the individual gears of the framework: Collaborative Leadership, Budget & Resources, Use of Space & Time, Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment, Robust Infrastructure, Data & Privacy, Community Partnerships, and Personalized Professional Learning.
Personalized Professional Learning
21st Century Educators use technology and digital learning to access high quality professional development. When dedicated school leaders participate in their own rigorous, authentic learning, students benefit. Personalized Professional Learning asks educators to trust each other, share and collaborate, use data for decision making, and produce best practices that disrupt the status quo and maximize learning outcomes and student success. The Personalized Professional Learning gear of the Future Ready Framework relies on these elements to produce Future Ready educators who model excellence for learners:
INFOhio supports these elements by providing tools and resources that provide cost-effective, flexible professional development for today's educators. As districts and school leaders complete the Personalized Professional Learning Self Assessment for this gear of the framework, keep in mind how INFOhio can fulfill PD needs with no cost to the district or school.
Shared Ownership and Responsibility for Professional Growth
District-sponsored professional development in the Future Ready School helps staff engage in learning that is relevant and authentic. It should provide educators with the research foundation that will allow them to explore the application of 21st Century skills in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. INFOhio's PD Choice Board contains flexible learning options that districts can use to promote Future Ready professional learning.
21st Century Skill Set
The INFOhio PD Choice Board is based on educator choice: staff can decide based on their goals, area of expertise, and skill set what learning options are best for them. Because the professional development offered by INFOhio is flexible and can be personalized, districts can sponsor the learning opportunities best for their district needs. Inquiry is INFOhio's foundation, and the learning options found in the PD Choice Board not only help educators understand how to help their students develop critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, and self-direction, but will also help participants develop these skills for their own growth. For example, Success in Six is a self-paced online learning environment with six modules that promote the use of 21st Century Skills and integrate INFOhio's digital content into teaching and learning. Educators can work in groups or alone to complete the activities in each module. The learning environment is accessible on all devices, helping districts no matter what devices are available.
By completing Success in Six, learners will
Upon completion of each module, participants earn a certificate for 3 contact hours. Learners can choose which modules they need to take based on their individual goals and area of expertise. Success in Six can also be taken for graduate credit through Ashland.
Diverse Opportunities for Learning Through Technology
Future Ready professional development is all about personal professional growth, and technology is the medium that enables districts to promote, provide, and model it for staff. The INFOhio PD Choice board has many learning options and uses online modules, databases, social media and other digital platforms to encourage participants to learn at their own pace in flexible environments and adapt content to fit the needs of both the teacher participant and their students. Which of the following PD Choice Board options works for your district staff?
District/Building Instructional Coach Training Course - INFOhio trains school employees on how to use and integrate INFOhio's digital content into teaching and learning. The 15 hour course is self-paced and provides districtss and buildings with in-house experts on the quality, vetted INFOhio content and tools provided at no cost to Ohio schools. How many DBICoaches does your district or school have? Encourage staff to apply for this free training and clearly communicate to your stakeholders that you value 21st Century skills and will integrate them into student learning.
Educator Tools - INFOhio's Educator Tools is a curated collection of over 70,000 teaching and learning resources aligned to Ohio's learning standards. Content is evaluated by Knovation's team of trained educators and includes lesson plans, activities, videos, teaching modules, and more. How can Educator Tools help develop professional growth? PLNs and TBTs can use this tool to find, analyze, and discuss teaching strategies and resources for their instruction. Each TBT member can try out the resource, model it in practice, and invite other teachers to watch for feedback and reflection. 21st Century PD is real, on-going, and job embedded. Using Educator Tools as a source for instructional practice helps educators own their learning. Watch this training video to get started.
Learn With INFOhio Webinars - LWI Webinar recordings on current educational trends that highlight the best of technology integration and innovative practices are available on demand to watch alone or as a group. With topics such as maker spaces, differentiation, paperless lit circles, and Genius Hour, the hour-long webinars provide educators with a wide spectrum of learning possibilities, flexible scheduling for PD, and a certificate for an hour of contact after the final quiz is passed. PLNs and TBTs, departments, and administrative teams can experiment with different methods of learning and share the content with others. Self-directed professional learners can search or browse over 60 archived Learn With INFOhio Webinars.
Professional Network - In today's connected world, relevant PD must help learners work together, no matter where they are or what their current situation. The INFOhio professional network keeps educators in touch with peers and experts in their field. INFOhio is active on social media, posting not only news, but also helpful strategies and practices for using and succeeding with digital resources, often from our Teach With INFOhio blog. We use#INFOhioWorks and encourage our followers and users to post and share how our digital content and web-based tools help their students be creative, critical thinkers. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest. The INFOhio E-list connects educators interested in staying up-to-date on our resources and other digital learning topics. We also send out a quarterly newsletter with instructional tips and updates. Staying connected with INFOhio keeps schools and educators on top of what's new, but it also connects them with schools and educators across the state who have successes to share or struggles to solve. Staying connected with INFOhio's professional network is one more way#INFOhioWorks for student learning.
Professional Databases - Future Ready schools have leaders who are motivated to learn and seek out information relevant to their goals and positions. One of the best ways to personalize PD is by reading professional publications. INFOhio's databases have many options for educators, and 15 For Educators is one way to find the publication that is just right for your learning needs. Use the articles from these journals as reading material for TPTs and PLNs. Include content in your disrtrict LMS, or share it with a Tweet. Find current, up-to-date information to include in your journey to Future Ready using INFOhio's professional databases.
Broad-based Participative Evaluation Aligned to Vision for Digital Learning
Future Ready schools work collaboratively, track progress, use data, have support systems, and share responsibility for professional development. INFOhio's PD options give these schools content and frameworks to achieve the learning goals of schools and edcuators. At no cost to the district, the PD Choice Board options allow educators to gain knowledge and experience on using technology as a learning and teaching tool.
Are You Ready?
Continue your Future Ready self-assessment using each of the blog posts aligned with the Future Ready Framework. Share how #INFOhioWorks for your district or school's Future Ready plan on social media. Tweet and post your #FutureReadyOH accomplishments!