Education technology company Panorama Education has launched Playbook, an online teacher community that aims to make teaching more efficient. Teachers can access peers’ feedback on classroom methodologies and practices and share their own insights to help the entire community find answers.
Playbook rests on the idea that teacher training should be tailored to every educator’s needs and that the most appropriate person to train and help an educator is another educator. Playbook is built on a simple idea:
“[N]nobody knows what works better in practice than teachers, and teachers learn best from each other,” said Brian Rainville.
Through this online platform, teachers can access resources that will make their teaching better and help others improve theirs by sharing their own optimal practices.
The suggestion platform offers answers to some of the most pressing teacher questions, a model that Panorama co-founder Aaron Feuer says is more effective than current resources for teachers. He explains:
“We spend $22 billion per year in the U.S. on personal development for teachers, and the status quo today is paying a substitute to cover the class while the teacher goes to a workshop for a day.”
The more Playbook is used, the smarter it will become in delivering even more personalized recommendations and solutions to teachers. Educators log into Playbook and provide information about the classes and grades they teach, their teaching experience and some information about themselves. Playbook then matches them with personalized advice from teachers with a similar profile.
According to Xconomy, Panorama, apart for assessing school safety, culture and morale, will now offer an authoritative professional learning tool for educators with Playbook. Teachers insert their queries and once a teaching problem is identified:
“Playbook pulls in data about the teacher, the class and the school to suggest approaches that teachers in similar situations have deemed effective. It aggregates national resources, as well as district-specific resources (that it helps schools digitize, if necessary) to provide teachers with a guide of vetted techniques that they can choose from,” Tech Crunch explains.
Brian Rainville, Educator Engagement Director at Panorama, says Playbook addresses a major difficulty for teachers as it offers them in a single place with a large pool of resources and solutions for problems they’re confronted with on a daily basis. He said of his own experience:
“If I wanted to see what other teachers were doing, it usually meant eating my lunch in the corner of a colleague’s classroom or giving up one of my treasured planning periods. Much of the time, it was just impossible because I was teaching at the same time.”
During a beta phase over the last seven months, 7,000 teachers in 300 schools worked with Playbook. The company reports that Playbook proved particularly useful to low-income, inner-city schools, especially given its affordable per-school fee.
Panorama Education surveys parents, teachers and students and provides feedback to schools to help them optimize learning. It also identifies problem areas in schools and classes. Playbook is the next step in Panorama Education as it now seeks to offer solutions and answers to the problems its survey data signify.
A free webinar on how to use Playbook is available on October 13.