Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8Professional Learning OpportunitiesAppalachia Intermediate Unit 8 is pleased to bring you customizable professional learning opportunities to meet the needs of your staff. Whether you are looking for a specific delivery model for learning; specific areas of focus or initiatives; a particular team (s) of teachers your targeting; wanting to engage in a community of learners across districts lines; or have short-term or long-term professional learning goals, we are sure our options for learning will meet your needs.
Method for LearningWe understand the challenges you face everyday with regard to pace, timing, and capacity. It's difficult to get everyone together to problem solve and ultimately produce results when you can't find substitutes, adequate space, or time for meaningful learning and critical discussions. That's why our team of educational consultants have carefully designed and built their content to be delivered in a variety of ways.
When we think of professional learning, we think of dates and times dotted across a school calendar year - Act 80 days. These days are typically packed with a variety of topic areas neatly situated in session slots across the contracted day. However, research demonstrates that this is not enough. Stakes are high and there is pressure to do "more with less.” Doing more with less isn't necessarily a bad thing although often this phrase is paired with a negative connotation. But it doesn't have to be if we leverage what is right in front of us.
Face-to-Face LearningFace-to-face learning is offered in a variety of environmental settings. We provide professional learning at any one of the IU8 offices including the Executive Office in Altoona, the Park Street Office in Ebensburg, the Educational Development Center in Duncansville, the Richland Offices in Johnstown, or at the Somerset Offices in Somerset. We also provide training on-site at your school for small and large numbers of participants.
IU8 has an online learning institute called Eduplanet21. We currently have 2590 active teachers, therapists, administrators, and paraeducators mainly across IU8 but some from across the commonwealth. In Pennsylvania, IU8 is the only Tier 4 Learning Institute among the 29 Intermediate Units across the state. A Tier 4 Institute means our professional learning opportunities can reach across the nation. What does that mean for you? By joining our institute you and your staff will have opportunities to communicate and network with administrators and educators across the world.
IU8 believes that teachers are empowered when they have a voice and choice in their learning. We offer a variety of blended learning opportunities that put teachers in charge of their professional learning; giving them a voice and choice in what they learn while also providing flexibility in the pace of their learning. Blended learning opportunities at IU8 often include learning formats that include face-to-face components with online learning opportunities, for example. Another format for learning might include consultation and coaching through on-site or virtual meetings facilitated by a consultant to discuss practices from the field. Another major component of blended learning is Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs. Collaborative professional learning can lead to changed practices and improved student outcomes when it is planned, implemented, and evaluated with fidelity. Here at IU8, we believe that learning is not just an exercise or a date on a calendar – learning is ongoing, job-embedded and tied to student learning.