Differentiating Professional Development

Job-embedded professional development can take many shapes, formal and informal, personal and team-based. Informal learning includes both the professional conversations that happen in hallways and email groups, and the individual efforts teachers make to apply advice and resources to changes to practice.  

However, formal coursework has a place among other solution components, particularly for organizations in transitions like 1:1 adoption. Formal full-faculty learning can quickly establish a group context and shared reference points,  guiding personal professional development and connecting informal conversations  to validated professional knowledge. Change management requires both formal and informal, personal and group learning.

Full-Spectrum Training

This table highlights four examples of Going121's learning modes:

 ModeFormal Informal


Self-Directed Learning

Teachers access an elearning tutorial bank to learn new skills, test-drive them with peers,  and apply them to classrooms. 

Discovery Learning

Teachers have  "aha" moments as new tech know-how meets student-centered pedagogy, and reflect on these in blog posts. 



Group Coursework

Teacher teams take an online course to support 1:1 adoption that includes individual, small group and full cohort tasks.

Community of Practice

Teachers contribute to and help curate a knowledge base maintained by peers, coordinating its application to teaching.

Full Solution and/or à la Carte

In full mode, Going121 participants complete a 2-part online course which serves as a containing and aligning framework.  When a majority of teachers take the course journey together, they inform each other's practice through timely online discussions where they share questions, experiences, and resources needed to complete scheduled work. 

However, some will not have time or commitment for two back-to-back 30-hour college-level courses, and yet need to also be accountable for making the same changes in practice as their peers.  For these, Going121 offers a personal learning path through its learning community site, my.going121.com.  Through this portal,  teachers access bite-sized tutorials developed for the course but able to stand alone. 

From my.going121.com, teachers can find, engage with, track and comment on two types of interactive learning:

  • Content-rich presentations about student-centered pedagogy informed by current research.
  • Highly effective 1:1 lesson resource-building tutorials for applying Google Apps to instruction.

To help both course-takers and personal learners bring the results of their work together for the full faculty, Going121 offers each school a Google Site template designed to support formation of a 1:1 community of practice.  The site built from this template can connect to group discussions, document libraries, lesson galleries, and other communally valued resources and process documents created and curated by faculty for their own work. 

Single Point of Access and Accountability

All participants--course learners or personal path-takers--reflect upon and account for their learning by building personal ePortfolios started from a Google Site template provided by Going121.  The lessons and materials they develop and curate are shared via reflective ePortfolio blog posts for review and comment by those given access.  

As every teacher creates an ePortfolio from this template, its pre-built menu affords a single access point to all course and solution resources. Beyond these, last minute additions to each school's ePortfolio template add additional menu links to the Community of Practice site, as well as other resources specified by each school.