I’m an Ed-Tech Investor and I Don’t Want to Create Useless Technology

I Don’t Want to Create Useless Professional Development

Liam, I totally agree. At Sanford Inspire, a gift-funded project started in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, we create free professional development resources for pre-service and in-service teachers. These On-Demand Modules help teachers build the knowledge, skills, and mindsets they need to inspire their students. But, On-Demand Modules cannot inspire unless teachers use them.

To ensure On-Demand Modules are relevant, we listen to teacher voice in every step of our production and implementation process.

Determining Topics—Before we develop resources, we find out what teachers want. We run focus groups, conduct surveys, analyze observation data, and look for common search terms. Using all this data, we prioritize module topics based on teacher needs.

Team members work together to make research accessible.

Research & Scripting — We have a team of 5 educators, all former classroom teachers, who dive into the academic research behind each On-Demand Module. They collaborate with subject matter experts at university and K-12 levels. Through this unique process, we make high level research easy to understand.

Pilot Testing — After an On-Demand Module is created, it enters pilot testing. We have about 25 educators review each module, covering a wide range of grade levels (early childhood education, special education, elementary education, secondary education, and teacher education) and experience levels (pre-service, in-service, instructional coaches, and university faculty). Once we’ve collected all stakeholder feedback, our team meets. We dive into stakeholder feedback and make changes to On-Demand Module to better meet teachers’ needs.

Continuous Research — Being at a Research One institution, we’re committed to ensuring the effectiveness of our resources. We are currently conducting various research studies to determine the impact our modules have on teachers.

Teachers meet to discuss new knowledge learned from an On-Demand Module.

Implementation Support — Sanford Inspire has a consulting team, including me, to help partners implement our resources. There is no one predetermined way to use our resources. Each district, school, and teacher decides how On-Demand Module use will best work in their context.