Want More Creativity in Education? Start With Transforming Teacher Professional Development

For years, the education community has been clamoring for more personalization in the design of learning experiences for youth. The argument goes that students are more engaged when they have choice over what, when and how they learn. There are few in the field who would argue with the evidence that personalization drives learner outcomes. But the profession has been slow to recognize that what works for youth can and should work for teacher professional development.

Yesterday, popular edtech site EdSurge released their report “How Teachers Are Learning: Professional Development Remix.” The report, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, calls for a revolution in teacher professional development to focus on personalized learning pathways for educators. It tries to identify a framework to evaluate teacher training programs, and applies that lens to the evaluation of twenty-eight teacher PD opportunities, including our own Adobe Education Exchange, which scores highly in two out of four categories: engaging educators and learning opportunities for educators.

At Adobe, we realized over two years ago that if we’re going to meet our goal of unleashing creativity in educational institutions worldwide, we needed to redefine the way we inspire and engage educators. And since then, we’ve made great strides. We re-designed and re-launched our educator platform and have created a professional development program based on best practices for adult learning.

We offer a wide array of learning opportunities, from live to asynchronous, from product-focused to more esoteric explorations of pedagogy and instructional design. The results have been phenomenal. To date we’ve trained over 38,000 educators worldwide and added a number of innovations – including gamification, collaboration, and creative challenges – into our offerings.

Our goal is not just to create top-notch, rigorous teacher PD opportunities that spark creativity in the classroom. We also want to change the way teacher PD is discovered, delivered and assessed. That’s why we offer our online Train the Trainer course, focused on empowering PD providers with the skills to craft creative adult learning experiences. We’re also working with a number of initiatives to “jailbreak” PD, including The Badge Alliance efforts around micro-credentials for teachers.

We want to hear from you – how would you change teacher professional development to ensure creativity is a part of every young person’s educational journey? Tell us here or on Twitter – #createedu