he COVID-19 pandemic highlighted existing inequities in education, with schools serving more students experiencing poverty and racial minorities disproportionately affected. According to the School Pulse Panel, learning recovery is progressing slowly, with little improvement in grade-appropriate academic achievement rates from fall 2021 to fall 2022. The pandemic's impact on under-resourced communities further exacerbated the issue, while schools with higher rates of minority and impoverished students employ tailored accelerated instruction, family outreach, and professional development to aid learning recovery.
Not Only for Students: Gamification in Professional Development
Research shows that adult learners prefer problem-centered, relevant, and respectful learning opportunities that allow for immediate implementation. For example, edtech tools can be used to create on-demand, self-directed, and competency-based training that research supports. Gamification in professional learning for teachers, such as using micro-credentialing, experience points, and leaderboards, can increase engagement, motivation, and satisfaction. Integrating these elements into professional development strategies can lead to better teacher morale and retention. The key actions that educators need to focus on include:
- Offer self-directed, competency-based PD for flexibility.
- Provide on-demand access to PD resources.
- Integrate gamification elements to boost engagement.
- Explore edtech platforms for gamification strategies.
- Plan to incorporate gamification in future PD activities.