Building Support for Teachers on a LEGO Education Foundation

Many would say that teacher professional development is a luxury during this time of crisis for educators. Esben Stærk believes it is more important than ever. In this episode of EdTech Today, he describes how LEGO Education, in conjunction with Tufts University, developed courses for teachers to be inspired by LEGO Education products no matter what the current learning scenario may be.

LEGO Education this month announced LEGO Education Professional Development, a personalized, competency-based learning program that inspires and actively engages teachers in facilitating playful and hands-on STEAM learning. With a research-based approach, classroom videos, and on-demand flexibility, LEGO Education Professional Development enables teachers to choose courses that fit their interests and schedules, learn best practices, analyze student learning, and directly apply this knowledge in their classrooms.

“We are excited to offer a new platform to support teachers’ professional development and equip them with strategies and skills to make STEAM learning playful.” – Esben Stærk

Going beyond traditional product training, LEGO Education Professional Development is built on the LEGO Education Competency-Based Framework for Educators and empowers teachers to practice and facilitate critical concepts needed to drive student learning outcomes. The framework includes four core categories: Pedagogy, STEAM Concepts, 21st Century Skills, and Classroom Management.

Esben Stærk, president of LEGO Education, said: “We are excited to offer a new platform to support teachers’ professional development and equip them with strategies and skills to make STEAM learning playful. When teachers are truly confident in playful hands-on learning, they deliver more motivating, engaging, and joyful learning experiences. Combine confident teachers and students together and the classroom becomes a place of endless possibilities limited only by their imagination and creativity.”

LEGO Education worked closely with seasoned classroom practitioners at Tufts University Center for Engineering Education Outreach (CEEO) to ensure the program was designed for the needs of today’s educators. Research from Tufts CEEO supported the LEGO Education view that a self-guided, blended program of competency and product training can provide a meaningful experience for educators and accommodate individual interests and learning preferences.

The free online program is modular to give teachers flexibility with two kinds of self-guided learning modules: Learning Bursts for quick and focused skills practice and Learning Quests for deeper competency development. This means teachers can pick and choose courses based on the topic or length and aren’t required to follow a predetermined order. Teachers observe playful STEAM learning through videos of real classrooms and teacher interviews that help demonstrate the competencies in a variety of learning environments, including in-person, physically distanced, and virtual classrooms.

“As educators, we must build confidence in ourselves before we can build confidence in our students. LEGO Education Professional Development offers any educator the opportunity to observe and learn from experienced teachers from anywhere. I can brush up on teaching techniques or coding during my lunch break or even from the comfort of my couch. The engaging and relevant courses not only develop teaching skills, but also build confidence using real-world classroom examples and best practices,” said Jennifer Rodabaugh, STEAM Lab Teacher, Picadome Elementary in Lexington, Kentucky.

LEGO Education Professional Development will launch in eight languages and feature LEGO Education SPIKE Prime and LEGO Education BricQ Motion product training with additional LEGO Education solutions added throughout the year.

To learn more about the new LEGO Education Professional Development program, visit: http://www.LEGOeducation.com/pd.

About LEGO® Education Professional Development

  1. A personalized, comprehensive learning program for educators built on the LEGO® Education Competency-Based Framework for Educators, which includes four core competency categories:
  2. Pedagogy
  3. STEAM Concepts
  4. 21st Century Skills
  5. Classroom Management
  6. Free, online, on-demand, and self-guided learning to equip teachers with integrated competencies, skills, and strategies for successful facilitation of STEAM learning that emphasizes student agency.
  7. Product training for LEGO Education solutions is available as part of the online self-guided platform or can be purchased separately in a facilitated learning format.
  8. Premium offerings available for purchase in the U.S. only:
  9. Full day facilitated learning led by certified LEGO Education trainers (virtual and on-site) to learn, practice, and master competencies with peer and expert feedback. Participants can earn micro-credentials as recognition for mastery of the competency trainings.
  10. Personalized coaching allows teachers to develop, apply, and sustain skills of their choosing with the support of a certified coach.

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