An InnovatED Solution to Professional Learning
Concurrent Session 3
The Merced Union High School District went 1:1, deploying chromebooks to students. This session outlines the district's approach to building teachers' blended‐learning pedagogy and implementing 1:1 instructional best practices. Leave with tools for flipping PD and strategies to prepare teachers for blended teaching and learning.
The Merced Union High School District (MUHSD) is a diverse high school district located in the central San Joaquin Valley of California. There are six comprehensive high schools and four alternative education schools, which serve approximately 10,000 students. In 2015, the Merced Union High School District hired a new superintendent, Alan Peterson. Among the several innovative ideas Mr. Peterson brought to his position as superintendent, was an alternative vision for staff professional development opportunities. Mr. Peterson believes that building capacity among staff through cutting-edge professional development is essential to furthering effective delivery of instruction in our schools' technology-rich environments. Understanding that the "sit and get" style of professional development had not resulted in sustained success, Mr. Peterson charged teacher leaders, Jamie Dyra and Sheryl Garman, to design and create an online, on-demand professional development program for the district; the result is the InnovatED professional learning platform.
InnovatED provides certificated, classified, and administrative staff anytime, anywhere professional learning opportunities. It is a truly blended approach to staff learning as participants can access the platform at their own time, place, and pace, yet also receive face-to-face, personalized support from a coach. InnovatED is a two-tiered platform that offers staff interactive courses for which they are compensated upon 90% mastery-level completion of all course activities, artifacts, and assignments.
The overarching goal of InnovatED is to enhance teaching and learning in the district. InnovatED achieves this by developing participants’ technology skills, improving instructional practices, facilitating professional collaboration, increasing productivity, and providing tools and tips for better management and professional practices. Participants acquire new learning in order to build their own capacity, followed by the application of that learning into their own teaching and professional practices.
InnovatED was designed to model blended learning through its various course offerings with the hope that staff will be able to easily transfer blended learning strategies and lesson design into their own teaching. Being a 1:1 district, Mr. Peterson and the MUHSD administration did not want school sites to focus too heavily on technology and tools resulting in the loss of proven, effective teaching practices; technology use cannot replace good teaching. InnovatED models blended learning, ensuring consistent and strong pedagogy and instructional technology integration.
Dyra and Garman developed InnovatED using design thinking. Design thinking dates backs to the 70s but is really starting to take hold in our educational world, most notably because of the Stanford d.school and the popularity of the IDEO model. Google uses it as well. Dyra and Garman also have a background in technology integration, adult learning theory and professional training, and pedagogy.
If selected to present an Education Session at OLC Innovate 2017, Dyra and Garman will share their process of developing the InnovatED platform, give an overview of the number of courses to date as well as number of participants, share how they go about building courses, provide attendees access to a sample online course, and present additional take-aways including technology tips and tools that facilitate blended learning environments.
Thank you for your consideration! We'd love the opportunity to share our story and assist other school districts looking to develop innovative professional learning opportunities for their staff.
Included links to Board Presentation Update and Promo video: