I’ve been very fortunate to travel the world and work in classrooms in the United States, Australia, Asia, and the U.K., and have seen phenomenal teaching everywhere I go. However, administrators tell me the challenge is how to effectively take that practice and scale it for every teacher in the district. How do we apply that brilliance across year levels, subject areas, and student demographics? And how do we measure the impact of different teaching methods in terms of how they’re improving student outcomes? Put simply, to shift the quality of learning in schools, we need to better support teachers with evidence of learning so they can focus their effort on doing the things that work really well for every learner in the room.

Teachers report that when they look at professional learning, they ask three questions:

  1. What am I learning?
  2. How will I apply it in class?
  3. What impact will it have on every student in the room?

If we can give teachers visibility on those three things, they’ll start to own their professional learning activities and how they practice their craft. Here are four ways that districts can replace traditional sit-and-get professional development (PD) with on-demand and personalized delivery of high-impact teaching strategies (HITS).

1. Better teaching, five minutes at a time
HITS are not necessarily new ways to teach. Rather, they’re well-researched pedagogical methods that have been proven to work. Teachers ask us: “What can I do within an existing lesson that might take five minutes that will get every student engaged in the learning?” Verso offers teachers easy-to-implement learning structures that support these evidence-based, high-impact teaching strategies. Teachers can add these into a lesson to foster student collaboration, effectively demand participation, and inspire a level of thinking that’s far deeper than they would have otherwise reached.

About the Author:

Colin Wood is the founder and chief executive officer of Verso Learning. He began working with school districts in the U.K. in 1999, using technologies to support new pedagogies in the classroom. He now spends his time travelling between Australia and the U.S., sharing great ideas and scaling success. He believes the teacher is the best app in the classroom, and no piece of technology will ever replace a great teacher. He can be reached at colin@versolearning.com.