November 2013

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Transform Professional Learning, our bimonthly publication examining important topics in professional learning. We have combined the best parts of our previous newsletters to bring you this comprehensive publication that includes tools, advice, additional resources and readings, and practitioner perspectives from multiple roles within a high-quality learning system.

Available to the public: Download a one-page summary of this issue to share with others. 

Leveraging technology in professional learning

Using technology for professional learning offers the possibility of improving current processes, stretching resources, expanding the learning environment, and improving learning designs and results. New possibilities for improved learning now exist that were not available before. However, to avoid being an empty promise, technology must be part of a comprehensive professional learning system, aligned to the Standards for Professional Learning, and implemented within a cycle of continuous improvement.

Members only: Read Learning Forward's full position and guidelines here.


Practitioner perspectives 

Teacher leader 

For teams, technology conversations must start with empowering learners

Beth Sanders, an education technology consultant in Alabama, discusses the importance of getting teachers comfortable with using technology first, and then helping them feel empowered in how they can use it to improve learning. 

Members only: Read more. 


New technologies turn into professional learning game changer

Sharon Johnson, a principal in California, shares how tracking and reporting tools combined to become a game changer by improving the efficiency of professional learning processes and aligning individual, school, and system goals.

Members only: Read more.

System leader


Doing more with less: Budget cuts bring valuable lessons for implementing technology in district’s professional learning

Sonja Hollins-Alexander, a former director of professional learning for a large urban school district, explains how she turned budgets and staff cuts into an opportunity to do more with less by creating virtual learning communities.

Members only: Read more.

Featured Tool: 

Process for selecting, procuring, implementing, and evaluating professional learning technology 

This tool outlines the recommended steps for accomplishing the task of acquiring and using technology to make savvy decisions about investments for professional learning. 

Related Tools



As new technologies become more available and affordable, they are also easier to adopt. However, these technological tools can fail to live up to expectations and even have detrimental effects if they are selected and implemented without proper planning and follow-through. 

Members only: Read more. 


Learning Forward recommends these actions to strengthen your professional learning through technology.

Members only: Read more.

Featured Resource: 

Meet the Promise of Content Standards: Tapping Technology to Enhance Professional Learning

More stakeholders are turning to technology to advance the professional learning required to support new standards and evaluation systems. Yet how technology is used will determine its potential to influence educator practice and results for students. This brief outlines how technology can enhance professional learning, offers examples of how technology is being used to meet the demand generated by Common Core standards, provides guidelines for selecting and using technology as a resource for professional learning, and identifies common challenges and ways to avoid them. 



Anthony Armstrong (, Learning Forward's associate director of publications, is the editor of Transform Professional Learning


Learning Forward's new digital publications are supported in part by MetLife Foundation.