professional learning on demand

Professional Learning on Demand for Educators

The teaching profession has always attracted the best and brightest, with education ranking as one of the country's most popular college majors. However, something happens between the excitement of entering the profession and the reality of the classroom that causes many educators to give up on this career path, leading to low morale, high rates of attrition, and teacher shortages throughout the nation.

While the reasons that teachers are suffering from burnout are complex and there's no simple solution to the problems, school districts are increasingly recognizing the need for improved professional development (PD) programs to help educators better face the demands of the classroom.

Improving PD offerings and developing a culture of continuous learning could go a long way toward attracting new teachers and getting them to stay. However, it's not just a question of implementing a PD program and leaving educators to figure out the rest. Instead, districts should consider leveraging technology to create personalized, professional learning on demand that's engaging and relevant to the learner’s immediate needs.

Here, we explore how on-demand learning is changing PD and examine its key benefits, its transformative impact on educators, and how it serves the broader interests of school districts.

The Shift Toward Professional Learning on Demand

There's no getting around it: between juggling classrooms full of students and extracurricular activities, teachers are busy. With so many demands on their time, it's hard to imagine when they'd make time for PD. That's why school districts need to develop flexible PD options that respect busy schedules. Making PD available on demand is one of the best ways that they can do just that. On-demand professional learning refers to any-time, anywhere learning for educators, offering time-starved teachers the flexibility that they need to grow professionally.

Most educators agree that ongoing PD is crucial to their classroom performance, and many are also interested in on-demand learning opportunities. They won’t be confined to rigid schedules, times, and locations; instead, they can learn on their own time, at their own pace, whenever they want. This type of learning also eliminates the one-size-fits-all model, so districts can tailor content to the needs of individual teachers.

When teachers are engaged, they're likely to get more out of what they're learning. Professional learning on demand offers a workaround to the widely recognized limitations of traditional PD models and the potential to re-engage and retain top talent by personalizing learning to meet their needs.

Key Features of Effective On-Demand Learning Hubs

Learning hubs are critical for districts making the shift from traditional PD to professional learning on demand. They simplify the process of creating content that meets the needs of a district and are tailored to the needs of individual educators. Here, we examine the key features of an effective on-demand learning hub.


A vital feature to look for in a learning hub is the ability to customize professional learning to the unique needs of the district, school, or individual educator. For example, learning paths guide learners through a series of micro-courses aimed at building specific skills or knowledge in areas relevant to their goals. These curated activities make PD more focused and goal oriented. When they follow a learning path, educators systematically increase their competencies, with each step contributing to their professional growth in a meaningful way.

Interactive and Hands-On Learning

Most people learn by doing, so learning hubs must include tools that enable teachers to engage in experiential learning through challenges and guided learning that works with their existing technology. For example, during a micro-course with MobileMind's patent-pending guided learning technology, an educator might receive step-by-step instructions and challenges that require them to apply new skills within Google Slides. This is beneficial in two ways: it ensures that what they've learned is immediately applicable, and it enables them to practice the skills in the same environment that they'll use in the classroom.

Gamification and Recognition

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't like to receive recognition for a job well done, and educators are no different. That's why learning hubs should integrate digital badges and micro-credentials into their offerings to give districts an opportunity to recognize teachers for their hard work. They act as a virtual resume and give educators an easy way to display their skills. Education should also be fun, and gamification is one way to make it that way, ensuring that PD is entertaining and educational.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Integration

While social interaction can be a crucial part of learning, it shouldn't be the be-all and end-all for PD. Learning hubs must offer more than just live, interactive sessions, as many educators need self-paced, on-demand, and even offline professional learning opportunities. These enable users to revisit content that they might be more interested in and review webinars or other training. Tools like MobileMind’s Events mean that users can easily blend live and on-demand learning into their calendars.

Impact and Benefits of On-Demand PD for Educators and Institutions

Professional learning hubs can profoundly impact teaching practices and educator satisfaction. Their flexible PD model enables teachers to complete their learning on their own time and at their own pace, leading to greater buy-in from educators and making it more likely that they'll remain in the profession. However, learning hubs don't just benefit teachers. They also provide school districts with the actionable data that they need to assess their PD programs, determine if they're working, and make adjustments as needed, all of which can lead to better outcomes for districts and educators.

Most professional development programs only specialize in one thing. MobileMind offers personalized, activity-based learning with reporting and tracking. Fun digital badges upon courses completed give teachers immediate takeaways to use in the classroom. Schedule a call with MobileMind or request a demo to differentiate the PD that your teachers want and need.