Customized PD Playlist

We typically think of a playlist as a list of music you personally enjoy—mine includes a slew of Beatles songs.  What’s in yours? Not surprisingly, the concept of the playlist has now migrated to the classroom.  A current article in Education Week’s Spotlight on Differentiated Instruction has a sidebar called, “Creating a Custom Playlist for Learning.”

A teacher’s playlist for learning can include a variety of technology-enhanced activities and assessment tools to enhance student learning. Just as your musical playlist is personalized to your interests, a learning playlist is customized to address individual student needs, interests, and abilities. The article recommends including class lessons, assessment tools, skill-building games, group projects, online courses, tutoring, and even virtual museum visits. Playlists can support unit planning, teaching or re-teaching material, and/or ways to involve families. A teacher could have multiple playlists; e.g., one for math, another for ELA, as well as for other content areas.

Now let’s further extend this idea into a PD playlist—a customized list of activities that can promote your own professional learning. Here’s how you can get started by using the free PowerUp WHAT WORKS website. Easy to use, it offers a treasure trove of professional learning resources. Here you’ll find evidence-based practices aligned ELA and Math Common Core State Standards, suggestions for linking best practices and technology, and ideas for differentiating instruction and translating principles of UDL into practice.

Here’s an example of one teacher’s annotated PD Playlist for developing students’ summarization skills.

  • Sample Lesson Plans: Seeing how different teachers implemented lessons on summarizing gives a basis for my own lesson planning:
  • Good Strategies: In Teach with Teach (which can be found in each of the PowerUp Instructional Strategy Guides) I can find ideas for differentiating instruction with the technology tools I have in my classroom, such as:
    • Elements of a good summary
    • Guidelines for creating a summary
    • Ways to encourage peer practice in writing collaborative summaries
  • More Tech Ideas: Viewing these terrific short videos gives me more ideas about how I can customize learning:
    • Embedded Supports to Differentiate Instruction for Struggling Students 
    • Using Multimedia to Support Reading in Social Studies
    • Quick View: Using Multimedia to Support Reading Instruction 
  • Relevant Blogs. These blogs offer ideas to use right now and others to store away for the future.
    • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Into Your Classroom: Texting for Learning
    • Perspective from the Field: What is the value of virtual field trips?

Check out the numerous Math and ELA Instructional Strategy Guides in PowerUp. What would your PD playlist look like? Please share it with us in Comments.

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