Teach With INFOhio

Educators' Guide to Self-Directed, High-Quality Summer PD with INFOhio

Author // Emily Rozmus Friday, 14 May 2021

Changing teacher beliefs and attitudes is at the core of professional development, according to Guskey's Model of Teacher Change. When educators see evidence of improvement in student learning after implementing learned classroom practices, they are more likely to be motivated to change their beliefs and attitudes. In other words, professional development itself doesn't lead to new attitudes, but rather the results of implementing the learned topics and concepts and seeing a change in student learning changes educator beliefs and attitudes. High-quality professional development builds learning experiences that support the educator throughout this cycle and is important in leading to those crucial attitude changes. 


High-quality Professional Development

What does high-quality professional development look like? In Ohio, the research-based Ohio Professional Development Standards and ESSA's criteria are clear indicators of what should be included.


These standards support schools and districts in the implementation of strong professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for students. For example, professional development that occurs in learning communities is sustained and impactful as teachers share the responsibility for student success. 


ESSA's definition of high-quality professional development provides schools and districts with clear criteria that are aligned to standards and are essential for helping students learn. You can learn more about High-quality Professional Development by taking the Ohio Department of Education's online class. Participants in this free class will learn more about Guskey's research, adult learning theory, the Ohio Standards for Professional Development and ESSA's criteria. 

High-quality professional development doesn't have to happen during the school year only. Educators can learn all year long, engaging in sustained, self-directed professional development that is data-driven and affects student outcomes, and ultimately changes beliefs and attitudes. According to the Teaching Excellence in Adult Literacy (TEAL) Fact Sheet No. 11: Adult Learning Theories, educators with confidence and internal motivation who have access to resources are excellent candidates for self-directed learning. This informal process takes place outside of a traditional classroom and the learner gets to make decisions about content, methods, resources, and even evaluation. When formal learning is not an option, consider following these guidelines from TEAL's fact sheet to set up your own self-study this summer:

  • Choose the topic or concept you want to learn about or improve upon. Use data from the 2020-2021 school year, whether from teacher evaluations, student assessments, or survey results.
  • Conduct a self-assessment to determine skill level and current needs and set a goal. This can be a simple tool such as a KWL chart. 
  • Decide the best starting point.
  • Find the resources and methods that best support your goal and learning style.
  • Consider using a learning contract with set goals, strategies, and evaluation.
  • Determine the best ways to make decisions about and self-evaluate learning.
  • Maintain positive attitudes and independence.
  • Reflect, reflect, reflect. 
INFOhio Supports Self-directed High-quality Professional Development

INFOhio provides a variety of options for educators dedicated to discovering new, effective ways to teach. Whether using online classes, or building a reading list, INFOhio's professional development has something for everyone. INFOhio Campus provides self-directed learners with online classes and webinars to provide sustained and intensive professional development on using digital content in the classroom. Online classes are available in INFOhio Learning Pathways, related collections on key topics for instruction. Take classes at your own pace with flexible, accessible content. Participants earn contact hours to reflect their learning. 


In addition, these Teach With INFOhio blog posts also provide resources that can be used for high-quality, self-directed professional development as well. 

To learn more about how to find research and best practice articles from professional publications, check out Summer Reading-Teacher Style. This blog will help you find the best reading material to support your self-directed learning plan. Better yet, it provides tips on how to share these articles, making collaboration a cinch. 

Is your school or district looking for quality instructional materials to supplement your curriculum? Create a community of practice in Open Space groups. Share the Quality Instructional Materials blog series to find the best content to accelerate learning for each child. This sustained and intensive PD opportunity is perfect for learning communities and leaders to maximize student learning using quality digital content available at no cost. 

Find the best webinars to support your self-directed learning goal in this blog post, Tune in for Bingeworthy, On-demand Viewing: Learn With INFOhio Webinars to Prep for Flipped, Blended, and Hybrid Learning. Each webinar curated in this post gives educators job-embedded and classroom-focused development to use in the coming school year. Pair the recordings that meet your needs with classes from our learning pathways and research and studies from professional publications to build your self-directed professional development. 

This summer, whether working with a team or alone, you can trust INFOhio has professional development options to cultivate best practices to improve student learning. If the 2021-2022 school year is the one where you change your attitudes and beliefs, let INFOhio's self-directed learning options be the catalyst. 

Share how INFOhio works for you! Tweet or post your summer learning and use #INFOhioworks to let others know the ways INFOhio supports teaching and learning in Ohio!




About the Author

Posted by: Emily Rozmus

Emily Rozmus is a Senior Instructional Specialist at INFOhio. She has worked in education for over 25 years, first as a secondary English teacher and district librarian before starting at INFOhio in 2013. Emily has developed district growth plans, integrated technology, created instruction for information literacy, fostered teacher development, and worked on teams to implement curriculum. At INFOhio, she focuses on training educators to use INFOhio resources to improve early learning. She also works to share research and best practices for helping students be better readers of INFOhio's digital text. 

Emily Rozmus
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