Using NEO for professional development for teachers
The most important resource of any organization, no matter its size, scope or industry, is the human resource — its people. Therefore, the success of any educational institution can be directly correlated to how well the faculty members and staff are prepared.
Teachers everywhere are expected to constantly improve their skills, learn new pedagogies and develop new strategies to engage their students. Many educational institutions value their faculty staff and understand they need to provide specialized professional development for teachers. In the search for the best course of action however, there’s one simple solution that seems to hide in plain sight: using the school LMS to provide PD for teachers.
With the same LMS that manages all aspects of students’ learning, schools can create master courses for teachers to improve their skills, certification training programs, enhance collaboration between teachers within a district, and so much more.
NEO is a world-class, award-winning learning management system (LMS) for schools and universities. The platform is known for delivering a great user experience while incorporating all the essential tools schools need to support effective teaching and learning. NEO is the perfect solution for managing all classroom activities, but schools can also use NEO for professional development programs for teachers.
An example of how a school could use NEO for training teachers
A school might want to develop a training to help teachers learn how to use technology in the classroom. This training could cover different levels, Level 1 could be an introductory class on teaching with technology, Level 2 a class on the basics of blended learning, and Level 3 a class on flipped classroom pedagogies.
Schools can create a learning path in NEO that would include these three classes as part of a mandatory certification that all teachers must do. Using this feature schools can require teachers to go through each class in the path in the order established by the school.
Using the automation feature, the school can automatically enroll teachers in the path and send them a welcome message with an overview of the training. They can also automatically enroll teachers in a support group dedicated to this training where teachers can collaborate and exchange ideas.
Each class in the learning path can be customized to suit the learning style of your teachers. For example, you might want to do a face to face training for the first class, a self-paced style for the second class allowing teachers to learn at their own pace, and micro learning for the last class where the entire class content could be a video.
To make sure teachers are learning everything they need, you can use the Mastery feature to set the skills that each class must cover. Then you can tag class content with the skills it should be teaching and assessing and track how well teachers are doing on each skill.
Using adaptive learning you can personalize what content you make available to teachers based on their progress. For example, if a teacher scores below a certain level in a module, you can show them some additional modules that other teachers won’t see. Similarly, if a teacher scores above a certain level, you could give them a harder assessment in the next module.
To make the training more engaging, schools can create games where teachers can earn points and badges as they advance through classes.
If you want teachers to take these classes periodically, you can use the compliance feature to make the classes mandatory by establishing for how long teachers are compliant once they’ve completed the courses and when they need to renew their compliance. You can set up an action to automatically enroll teachers back in classes when compliance is almost due.
Once teachers finish all the classes in the learning path, you can award them with a custom certificate of completion.
NEO features that can be used for PD for teachers
Schools can set up learning paths for teachers, which are sequences of courses that must be completed in order. This feature is useful for creating trainings with different levels. For example, a learning path on Teaching methods could have the following courses: communication techniques for teachers, motivating students to learn, and instructional planning for successful teaching. When the learning path is completed, teachers can receive a certificate of completion.
Schools can choose from a variety of teaching styles such as instructor-led, self-paced, blended, or micro learning. Sometimes schools might find more valuable to do teacher trainings face to face, while other times a micro course to teach a one-time concept on a pedagogy could be more efficient.
To make sure teachers are learning everything they need, you can use the Mastery feature to set the skills that each class must cover. Then you can tag class content with the skills it should be teaching and assessing. For example, in a training on how to do BYOD in the classroom, a skill that teachers must learn is how to use mobile apps in classroom activities. Using mastery, you can tag the class content that should teach and asses that skill, then track how well teachers understood the concept.
This feature allows schools to trigger actions throughout the platform when teachers do certain tasks. For example, you can set up a rule to automatically add new teachers in a Faculty group and send them a personalized welcome message. You can also automatically enroll teachers in classes and learning paths that train them on various pedagogies.
Teachers also need incentives during trainings. The gamification feature allows you to create games where teachers can earn points and badges as they advance through classes and learning paths. For example, you can create a custom badge "Great Technology Skills" and award it when they complete a class on How to use Technology in the class.
Compliance is a useful feature for schools that wish to track teacher compliance. You can select the classes that are required for compliance, then set up for how long the teacher is in compliance once they've completed the class, and whether they need to renew their compliance periodically. For example, if you want teachers to take a class on Digital Teaching Skills every year, then you can make the class mandatory to take and automatically enroll teachers back in the class at the beginning of each year.
Professional development for teachers usually involves getting various certifications. In NEO, schools can design courses and learning paths for certification. Schools can award certificates to teachers upon completion of courses or learning paths.
Teams are a special kind of group that includes the concept of "team leaders". You can allow leaders to enroll team members into classes, to run reports on members, and use automation to trigger actions. Teams can be used to organize teachers from various departments. For example, a team could be all the math teachers in a school. Then you can trigger various actions such as enrolling all the teachers from this team in a training course on teaching high-school mathematics.
Tools such as groups, chat rooms, blogs, wikis, and forums are a great way of enhancing collaboration between teachers and faculty members across the institution.
You can create groups for educators that teach the same topic, faculty groups to discuss school issues, or groups for teachers that are going through the same certification. Groups boost communication between teachers and can be used to share ideas and resources, plan school events, prepare teaching material, and more.