Engaging Isolated Teachers Through Blended Learning

Cover for Mix It Up: Blended Strategies for High-Impact Professional Learning

This blog post was written by Pamela Fong, Research Associate with Innovation Studies at WestEd.

Existing teacher professional learning opportunities aren’t meeting the needs of all educators. Teachers want access to high-quality professional learning that is rich, collaborative, and sustained over time — one-shot workshops don’t always cut it.

Some support providers are turning to blended learning to enrich and supplement existing practices, engaging teachers in meaningful professional development.

Blended professional learning enables teachers to build collegial relationships in person while continuing to learn about content and instructional practices through an array of virtual activities.

Digital tools like video conferencing and Twitter allow teachers to collaborate on lessons, problem-solve challenges, and share knowledge and resources, as well as connect with experts, professional learning communities, leadership training, and instructional coaching.

In “Mix It Up: Blended Strategies for High-Impact Professional Learning,” the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (CFTL) and the Teacher Practice Networks (TPN) explore how:

  • Teachers use blended learning to connect across distance and time for improving practice aligned to today’s rigorous college- and career-readiness standards
  • Blended professional learning in action helps maximize teacher engagement and buy-in
  • Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) uses blended strategies to reach rural teachers
  • The Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) uses blended strategies to build virtual learning communities

Read CFTL’s CenterView article, “Mix It Up: Blended Strategies for High-Impact Professional Learning.”

Continuing this work, at ACTE CareerTech VISION 2015, CFTL Director Tracy Huebner led a panel of three TPN project leads in unpacking strategies for virtually connecting and engaging geographically or subject-matter-isolated teachers.

The TPN project leads committed to authoring a report delving even deeper into reaching isolated teachers through blended learning. Check back soon to read their report.

If you’re interested in receiving updates about this TPN work, the upcoming report or CFTL in general, send us an email at CFTL@wested.org.

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