The Cognia Learning Community is a professional learning platform and educator community that strengthens teacher/leader practice and gives educators ownership of their own learning. In a new approach to professional learning, the Cognia Learning Community hosts a network of educators from across the globe, offering high-quality content and collaboration tools to solve problems and accelerate improvement.
Cognia, the global school improvement organization that helps grow learners, educators, and leaders, has launched a new professional learning experience for educators: the Cognia Learning Community. The Cognia Learning Community connects educators around the world; they can choose from a library of high-quality professional learning content and collaborate to test and reflect on new approaches, solve problems, celebrate successes, and accelerate improvement.
The Cognia Learning Community offers an online platform—with resources available 24/7—that provides a complete professional learning ecosystem. Teachers and leaders can study and learn from one another as well as on their own in asynchronous or synchronous environments using relevant, high-quality content geared to improving all aspects of professional practice. New content will be added frequently, expanding choice and depth.
For institutions that are members of the Cognia Global Network, the platform enables districts and schools to tailor content for their staff. The platform offers easy monitoring of professional learning progress, sparks professional engagement in a global community of educators, and strengthens teacher and leader practice.
Unlike typical “sit-and-get” professional development offerings, in which educators passively listen to experts without guidance to apply new approaches to their own teaching practice, educators can now take charge of their own learning by choosing areas of study and determining their own pace and direction.
Content is organized into Learning Labs, which organize rich subject matter into discrete phases proven to be effective for adult learners. Learning Labs focus on key areas of teaching and leadership practice including effective questioning techniques, promoting growth mindsets, providing transformational leadership, or understanding the learning environment to promote student engagement. Each Learning Lab features a “spark” video to kick off discussion topics and opportunities to deepen learning through conversations with peers. As educators and leaders explore, reflect, and experiment, they activate their own learning.
Increasing Educator Agency
Cognia’s approach to professional learning is based on research that indicates that educators learn most effectively when it is relevant to the learner (teacher or leader), directly applicable in their professional context, and shared within a network of practice.
“The Cognia Learning Community represents a shift in mindset about what professional learning for educators can and should be,” says Dr. Mark A. Elgart, president and CEO of Cognia. “It is not about simply moving traditional professional learning online. Our goal is to increase educator agency by placing ownership of the learning process in the hands of the learner.”
The Cognia Learning Community was designed to overcome limitations of conventional professional learning with important features to promote engagement and effectiveness.
- Diverse content available in the Cognia Learning Community allows educators to personalize their professional learning by choosing topics aligned with state, district and/or individual priorities. Designed for use by learning teams led by an instructional leader or teacher leader, Learning Labs can be used as a group or in asynchronous sessions in which individual educators explore key questions of practice, and experiment to apply what they learn.
- District-specific content. Schools and systems with specific professional learning initiatives can author and publish their own content in the Cognia Learning Community platform and push this content out to all users in the institution. This allows systems to create professional learning engagements for teachers at whatever scale they want—for specific grades and subjects, for clusters of schools needing to address similar challenges, or for all teachers across the system.
- Progress and engagement monitoring. The Cognia Learning Community has a built-in management tool to seamlessly monitor progress and support teacher growth—an added value for instructional leaders. Monitoring can cover groups or individuals engaging in different professional learning paths. This scalable feature of the platform is particularly useful for states or districts that want to oversee implementation of required educator or leader training.
- Cross-network connections. The social community section of the Cognia Learning Community will expand to allow educators across districts, state, and national boundaries and within or across content areas to communicate, exchange content, and ultimately support each other.
“As experts in improvement, Cognia’s mission is to help grow learners, teachers, and leaders so that everyone in the education ecosystem benefits especially our learners,” Elgart said. “Today, we are delivering on our promise to bring together educators to build connection and enhance adult learning. We help educators learn in the way they do best as well as help school districts and their institutions save financial resources that can be redirected to meet other needs.”
Cognia is a global, nonprofit improvement organization dedicated to helping institutions and other education providers grow learners, teachers, and leaders. Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, and professional services within a framework of continuous improvement. Serving 36,000 public and private institutions from early learning through high school in more than 90 countries, Cognia brings a global perspective to advancing teaching and learning.