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Digital Professional Learning for K–12 Teachers: Literature Review and Analysis

By Chelsea Talakoub


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of education has had to abruptly pivot to relying heavily on digital methods of delivery. For teachers, much of their professional learning has gone digital as well. To help those in charge of developing and delivering teacher professional learning online, this knowledge brief produced by the Region 15 Comprehensive Center summarizes themes from an informational scan of research on digital professional learning.

The information here is meant to assist professional learning developers and facilitators as they draw on existing materials and transition them to digital modes of delivery, building new learning experiences for an online environment. Though much has been written and researched about best practices for traditional (i.e., face-to-face) teacher professional learning, less has been studied about digital professional learning for teachers. Many sources reviewed for this brief were written by authors outside the United States, and much of the information looks specifically at rural areas, which have had to deal with issues of isolation prior to the current pandemic.

The literature reviewed for this brief suggests that attention to the following themes can be leveraged to build and deliver effective, timely, and meaningful professional learning for educators:

  • Community-building
  • Customization
  • Extension of learning
  • Effective facilitation
  • Learning modalities
  • Motivation

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2020
Format: PDF
Pages: 7
Publisher: WestEd