Texas Education Service Center (ESC), Region 11 is taking steps toward solving the challenges of collaboration caused by providing professional development across 7,843 square miles. They are making the most of the excellent teaching that’s happening every day across the region by crowdsourcing a video library of examples, available to all 70,699 educators.
ESC 11 were compelled to act following the adoption of a new appraisal system for teachers across the state of Texas. Confusion was rife and a common concern was that educators weren’t sure what the new teaching standards were supposed to look like in action.
ESC 11 knew there were teachers across the region who were putting the standards into practice every day; they just needed a scalable way to make these examples widely available to everyone. At this point, ESC 11 partnered with video professional learning provider, IRIS Connect, to securely capture and share real and relatable examples of the standards.
Teela Watson, Director of Instructional Services at ESC Region 11 explains: “IRIS Connect is cost effective for our districts and provides an economical solution for the job-embedded follow up to our PD that is essential for our success.”
To get educators from across the region onboard, ESC 11 has presented the effort as a “Challenge” of sorts. There are a variety of prizes to incentivize participation and there is no obligation to contribute. To encourage participation, emphasis has also been placed on capturing “real practice” rather than “best practice” because best practice can often be subjective.
To ensure all 70,699 teachers have access to the library, all educators in Region 11 currently have free access to the full IRIS Connect platform for two months. After this, they will have unlimited free access to the video library.
The video submission period is currently underway and will conclude on April 15th, 2017. It is anticipated that the video library will be made available to all educators by the end of May, 2017.
To learn more about Region 11’s effort or how IRIS Connect can be used to connect educators at scale and across distance, IRIS Connect will be at the ASCD Empower17 Annual Conference from March 25-27, 2017. Visit them at stand 1345 to find out more.
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