Education Innovation: Connect – Collaborate – Innovate

The Secret to Successful PD for Educators – Social Learning 

study and learn

Professional Development (PD) for educators is something all education institutions are constantly striving to meet. Most academic institutions organize workshops once or twice a year to effectuate professional skill enhancement for their educators. However, global trends in education evolve much more rapidly causing a feeling of distress among educators.

As education is continually evolving, it is becoming more challenging for educators to retain and practice, the newly acquired  information, these training sessions offer. 

It is not always cost-effective for the institutions to host such PD workshops and to keep up with the new developments taking place. In which case, it is really up to the educators to take charge of ameliorating their skills as provided by the PD training.

The best way an educator can stay abreast of the advancements in educational trends is through social learning or collaborative learning. In the recent past, when social learning started to gain momentum among educators, many took to mainstream social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to expand their professional learning network. This has helped many educators expand their information and professional network and is allowing educators to continually gather the best content and new ideas from across geographical boundaries.


While mainstream social sites, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are still quite popular among educators, a recent survey conducted in the education community revealed some very interesting facts. Studies showed that educators were more successful using social media that were specific for educators needs. Within the wide expanse of information technology, educators seem to be gravitating towards more protected and exclusive spaces. 

A survey answered by educators showed that 82 percent used social media to share information and resources but preferred to use a more exclusive sites. 73 percent academic institutions are looking for professional development that are online.

On education specific sites academicians have said that they are no longer restricted to learning from peers or from colleagues from a different school. They are able to interact and share experiences and unique cases they meet in their daily classroom activities. 


studying with ipad

Several educators have also expressed safety and availability as concerns for using mainstream social-media sites because these sites are often discouraged by schools, and considered disruptive or distracting mediums. They are prohibited for student-educator connections, on the pretext that they are abounding ethical issues. Social-media policies vary widely with schools and school districts. As more and more schools ban the use of common social-networks in schools, educators seem more comfortable moving towards less obvious social networking sites, tailored to meet their professional requirements. Numerous educators said they feel safer using an education specific social network for their classes. And they needn’t worry about their students getting bullied or being exposed to unnecessary information.


An upcoming web portal, educators must watch out for is EDINVERSITY. It is a virtual space that addresses ALL needs of the education community. The services offered by this platform will not only benefit educators but also students/learners. An academic institution could train their employees, within this advanced platform provided by EDINVERSITY for conducting training for their employees.

A noteworthy service of the platform is that it encourages Global Citizenship by allowing educators to “connect classrooms”.  The platform enables them to conference entire classes with each other and thereby share best practices without having to leave the safety of their school or geographical boundary. It integrates the framework of social-learning, document management, meetings, Wikis, forums, emailing, chatting, etc. that educators can use for improving their classwork and for their own PD ON-DEMAND.


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August 2013
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