What is it?
2gnōMe (To know me) is a cloud platform that puts teachers at the center of their professional development. Winner of multiple awards in education, this platform clarifies for leadership who needs what kind of learning in the first place, and uses data to personalize teachers’ professional learning experience, at a massive scale. The platform is content agnostic and inter-operable with any learning management system and easily incorporates any learning framework or set of standards.
What does that mean? It means 2gnōMe brings to teacher professional development the individualized learning that we are all working to bring to our students. It empowers a school or district to better utilize professional develop resources, both purchased and free, and leverage people and media better by helping to assess a teacher’s strengths and areas in need of improvement through self-reported survey data and feedback from peers. 2gnōMe will help teachers see both their perceived skills and their demonstrated skills based on both self-reported practices and anonymous and aggregated peer feedback. Authorized administrators also have views specifically designed to help them monitor, manage, and support their teachers.
2gnoME Through the Lens of SAMR
I was recently a guest on an EdWeb webinar that focused on professional development. We asked the attendees what was not good about PD, and the responses were not surprising. District-provided PD was often one-size fits all or one-and-done. Time was another common response—not enough time and way too many things to do. Having been one in charge of large-scale professional development efforts, I don’t fault districts for offering professional development opportunities that teachers might characterize as one-size fits all or one-and-done. After all, as a district, you have a finite number of days dedicated to professional learning, and the logistical challenge of providing different PD to different teachers on those days is enormous — especially the larger the district. So, what is the usual practice? As a district, we identify the most pressing district initiative, and we develop workshops or find experts that can support that initiative. It makes sense. It is aligned to a district initiative. But, as we know, it’s as effective as the lecture I provided to my 7th grade math class on adding fractions with unlike denominators. It leaves some people bored and some lost, with very few satisfied with the content and results.
My classroom dilemma with fractions is no different than the challenge faced by a district as it seeks to support its teachers. Too many differing needs and not enough instructional time, so the overly simplistic answer is, we need to alter how we use time, and we need to be more targeted to the needs of the individual teacher. Here’s where 2gnōMe helps. With 2gnōMe, a district starts by identifying their initiative(s) just as before, but now, instead of directing a solution at their teachers, with 2gnōMe, the district instead implements an assessment to determine the strengths and areas of need of each teacher. Teachers complete an assessment for themselves, but they can also invite peers to complete an assessment about them. These assessments go further than simply what you know, but what you do. Knowing how to leverage a teaching practice is not the same as actually using that practice.
With this data, 2gnōMe helps school and district leaders connect teachers with the professional development resources most suited to their needs. Leaders can group teachers into cohorts, and teachers are directed to resources and opportunities that are directly related to their needs. 2gnōMe modifies how teachers find professional learning resources and opportunities and how leaders support teacher professional learning needs. The concept isn’t new. However, ideas and execution are not the same, and 2gnōMe makes execution of a personalized learning environment for teachers efficient and manageable.
Use case example
A common need and initiative in many districts today is the introduction of computational thinking standards and computer science curricula into grades K-8. The idea that elementary and middle school learners need to be taught these types of skills can be daunting and intimidating for many teachers. As a district takes on this challenge, it has identified the curricula and tools it wants to use with its students. Orders have been placed for robots and tablets for classrooms. In-person workshops are scheduled with the vendors of these robots. It’s a start, but the district knows it’s not the end of the story, and success will require more than an introductory workshop on how to turn on the robots, and how to write the 21st century equivalent of “Hello World” program.
With 2gnōMe, the district leverages resources from Code.org and their robotics vendors to create assessments to measure teacher knowledge and skills with computational thinking and programming. In parallel, the district loads a tagged data set of professional learning resources Code.org, their robotics vendors, and other OER resources that their STEM committee has identified. These learning resources don’t live in 2gnōMe, simply an index of these resources, where they actually reside, and tags that identify what knowledge and skills it addresses.
District instructional coaches determine which assets, if any, should be included in a learning path for all teachers. In the meantime, teachers complete the assessment, and that data is analyzed by 2gnōMe’s platform, and together with the base learning paths determined by the district instructional coaches and the metadata in the index of resources, and teachers are provided a recommended learning path.
As teachers complete and interact with these learning resources, they are provided opportunities to rate those resources as well a mark them complete. This helps both other teachers and district leaders make decisions about the resources that are made available to teachers. Over time, teachers can be view their own progress and growth by comparing initial and post-assessment data. That data can also be viewed in the aggregate and individually by authorized district/school leaders to manage and track progress of the teachers. The platform offers many other capabilities that aid district and school leaders to better support their teachers and to connect teachers to content and expertise.
For decades, as educators, we’ve long discussed how technology can help teachers personalize learning for students by both helping to monitor individual progress while also helping to identify areas of need and resources that address those needs. 2gnōMe brings this same idea to teacher learning in a straight-forward manner, and facilitates implementation to schools where time and capacity usually make this impossible.