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Elaine S

Downers Grove North High School


Personalizing PD through Video and Student Work

Elaine Simos believes that flipped learning is the answer, only she isn’t talking about flipped learning for her students - Elaine wants to flip professional learning for teachers. Simos believes that Flipped PD learning teams help to solve the problem of isolated, low-impact PD in three ways: “1) giving teachers the opportunity to join a community based on shared goals; 2) receive feedback on a plans, instruction and impact on students; and 3) providing and developing a bank of interactive videos that highlight specific instructional practices shown to grow student achievement.”<br><br>To test her idea, Simos used Zaption to allow the teachers on her team to engage in interactive, video-based, learning experiences as a part of their professional development. Not only would teachers gain deeper understanding of their effectiveness as a classroom practitioner, Zaption would also provide Simos and her team with actionable data that would instantly measure teacher understanding and further allow Simos to differentiate professional learning.


iPD via Interactive Video and Data-Centered Learning Teams

Teachers have a problem with identifying and implementing specific instructional practices that increase student achievement in identified areas. Working in isolation to explore concepts and to attempt to estimate effect on student achievement based on static materials is often an ultimately frustrating exercise for both teacher and student. Flipped PD learning teams solve that problem by 1) giving teachers the opportunity to join a community based on shared goals, 2) receive feedback on a.] plan, b.] instruction and c.] effect on students, and 3) providing and developing a bank of interactive videos that highlight specific instructional practices correlated to targeted growth in student achievement.


Video + Processing + Reflection

Developing a series of videos for professional learning that not only highlight a lesson or strategy but also give viewers/participants a chance to "check in" on their understanding and thinking about both the teacher and students' actions, along with giving viewers/participants a place to reflect on the potential classroom applications of the lesson observed would be a very powerful component of PD that incorporates video. Next steps? Expanding the conversation from one teacher or group to a network of educators making implementation plans as a group--within a school, district, region, etc. or across a wider expanse-- and then share results based on both observations and student work. Bridging the focus from instructional practice to student learning is vital in understanding exactly how, where, and why one's classroom practice is being transformed to positively impact student learning today and tomorrow.

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I work with teachers both in coaching sessions ...

I work with teachers both in coaching sessions and in larger group professional development offerings. An increasing focus of this work is the creation of individualized PD that meets teachers where they are and pushes them to the next level. This iPD changes the traditional structures of PD and directly leads to shifts that positively impact classroom practice. Video has been an effective tool in supporting these changes. Whether teachers are examining a strategy in practice via Teacher Tube or Ted Ed or even a lesson that does not go as planned (such as Sarah Brown Wessling's "When a Lesson Goes Wrong" on the Teaching Channel), the multimodality of the resources helps teachers exercise their own voice in PD. A cadre is even jumping into lesson study and is exploring a new set of possibilities. Every one of these teachers and coaches makes it a point to try a new challenge--and to share the results, either in video or another form, working to determine the direction of their own PD.

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