Creating a collaborative professional learning culture

Douglas Education Service District is working to connect teachers across their region to create a more collaborative professional learning culture. Their mission is to increase student engagement by providing more of their educators with these valuable learning opportunities.

The partner

Douglas ESD is providing cooperative services to 13 districts and support students within their region with cost-effective professional assistance. They strive to offer their districts the same types of services that a larger district would have access to by working together cooperatively.

The challenges

  • Collaboration in rural schools
  • Travel issues to access professional learning
  • Substitute shortages that prevent teachers from leaving their classroom to have access to professional learning opportunities

The solution

IRIS Connect allows Douglas to change the way they previously conducted PD by enabling them to provide more frequent follow-up and feedback to their educators. They are now connected to the educators they serve across a distance, and are not constrained by their central location in Roseburg.

Because of these changes, more educators will be able to attend and have access to the professional learning opportunities that are offered. Beyond this, these opportunities will be available at a reduced cost for their districts by reducing travel costs, substitute costs, etc.

Ultimately, Douglas look forward to seeing increased student engagement as their educators have more access to these valuable opportunities.

“IRIS Connect is changing the way we do PD by allowing us to provide more frequent follow-up and feedback to our teachers. It also allows teachers who are isolated to collaborate with other teachers who provide instruction in content areas.” – Analicia Nicholson, Director of Instructional Services, Douglas ESD

Vision for the future iris connect film club logo

Douglas ESD has started their efforts by running IRIS Connect Film Club across their region. Film club encompasses collaborative PD activities focused on developing self-regulating, independent learners. Everything schools need to run a film club is provided by IRIS Connect, including background reading, video examples, discussion questions, and reflective activities.

In the upcoming years, Douglas will work to connect teachers across their county, to create a county-wide professional learning culture where expertise is shared widely and collaboration becomes part of daily life.

Over time, a county-wide resource hub will exist so that educators can see pedagogy practices in action, whenever they needed to. This library of effective practices will not only reflect the local demographic of students, but will also be specific to state and local standards. These videos of effective practice can be organized and populated with time-stamped annotations so that both new and veteran teachers will have a deep understanding of each classroom practice. They also will provide distance coaching opportunities to their educators that would have previously been impossible.

Their efforts are starting with their Education Services department, but in the future they hope to expand their use of IRIS Connect to their Behavioral Services team, SPED, and Early Intervention.

Their advicedouglas esd using iris connect

Their advice to an ESD or any other organization who is adopting IRIS Connect is to have someone who is prepared to record themselves and model its effectiveness. They also suggest that new adopters start slow, get buy-in from staff, then gain momentum. They emphasize that you shouldn’t force the idea of video professional learning on your team – that growth should be bottom up.

Discover IRIS Connect Film Club >

Get started – it’s FREE!

✓  Try IRIS Connect Film Club
✓  Record, reflect on & analyze your practice
✓  Use coaching & collaboration tools


What is film club? 

What is Film Club?

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