From MOOCs to MOOPILs: Pushing the Boundaries of Virtual Professional Development and Learning for Teachers

From MOOCs to MOOPILs: Pushing the Boundaries of Virtual Professional Development and Learning for Teachers

Beverly J. Irby (Texas A&M University, Education Leadership Research Center, Educational Leadership and Human Resource Development Department, College Station, TX, USA), Kara L. Sutton-Jones (Texas A&M University, Center for Research and Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition, Educational Psychology Department, College Station, TX, USA), Rafael Lara-Alecio (Texas A&M University, Center for Research and Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition, Educational Psychology Department, College Station, TX, USA) and Fuhui Tong (Texas A&M University, Center for Research and Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition, Educational Psychology Department, College Station, TX, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTHD.2017010103
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Abstract

This article includes a discussion of the growing use of virtual professional development and learning for educators. Next the authors describe virtual professional development and learning within the context of a U.S. federally-funded Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, English Language and Literacy Acquisition-Validation (ELLA-V), and the need for a new understanding of such on an informal and individual basis. The proposed concept is a Massive Open Online Professional Informal Individual Learning (MOOPIL). Lastly, the authors provide an example of a MOOPIL from the ELLA-V grant which is called ELLA-Virsity—a collection of short professional development webinars for teachers and school leaders who work with English language learners.
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Introduction

Advances in technology as well as increased access to the internet in homes and schools is changing the way teachers continue their professional learning after their initial education. Today teachers enjoy a significantly broader range of professional development options on the web, available to them at any hour. Whether they enroll in an online university course in their subject area, participate in interactive district webinars, or seek advice from other educators over social media, they are furthering their instructional knowledge and skills through virtual professional development and professional learning.

This article begins with our discussion of virtual teacher professional development (VPD), its standards and components, and a synthesis of findings from research on VPD. Lastly, we introduce the concept of Massive Open Online Professional Informal Individual Learning (MOOPIL) and provide an example of ELLA-Virsity, which is a component of a U.S. federal grant, English Language and Literacy Acquisition—Validation (ELLA-V). Our objective in this paper is to extend the concept of teacher professional development and learning with activities on a virtual platform such as MOOPIL.

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