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Embedding Self-Paced Learning in Alisal Union’s Professional Development Platform

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Alisal Union Elementary School District in Monterey County serves just over 9,000 elementary students in twelve K-6 schools within the California Department of Education. As part of an evolving digital citizenship mission, Alisal Union partnered with Alludo to create a game that could bolster professional development efforts among both teachers and district administrators. The result was Rodeo Alisal, a self-paced, multi-purpose game based on conceptual models of edtech integration within the district’s existing Google Suite for Education Apps.

The Salinas-based Alisal Union Elementary School District is made up of twelve K-6 schools in partnership with a local charter school, and employs 400 certificated and 250 classified staff members. Working with Alludo, Alisal Union created Rodeo Alisal, a Western-themed professional development game composed of the teacher-oriented Rough Riders and the district administrator game Trail Bosses. Rodeo Alisal combines traditional edtech themes like the 4Cs and the SAMR model with a self-paced, gamified platform that encourages friendly competition and community across the district.

Key Challenges

  • Design and optimize a professional development platform that would foster district-wide engagement

  • Create a mindset of creativity and agency in line with the district’s move away from student assessment and intervention as the primary functions of edtech

  • Provide teachers and administrative staff with a self-paced PD option to provide bite-sized learning opportunities when most convenient

Solution

Rodeo Alisal turned Alisal Union’s conceptual and organizational professional development initiatives into a gamified platform that teachers and administrators could engage with on their own time and at their own pace. The initial launch saw high game play numbers, with incentives for participation that awarded both staff members and students. Alisal Union teachers and staff quickly embraced Rodeo Alisal, and continue to utilize it as a fun and competitive platform for pursuing digital citizenship and PD training.

Results

  • More than 150 teachers and 30 administrators signed up to play Rodeo Alisal upon its initial release

  • A platform that encourages a burgeoning sense of community supported by common goals and friendly competition

  • Staff autonomy to master district PD objectives where and when it is most convenient for them

  • Self-paced PD that meets the needs of different types of learners within the district

Looking Forward

From the start, Rodeo Alisal helped Alisal Union pursue a more effective and efficient model of PD training. The district has seen a range of beneficial results, all modeled within its evolving approach to digital literacy and edtech integration. Moving forward, Rodeo Alisal will continue providing Alisal Union’s teachers and administrative staff with a self-paced and gamified way to achieve higher levels of professional development, plus a greater sense of district-wide community.

“As an educator, I promise to be a lifelong learner. So, I’m always searching for PDs, training, and/or PLN. Rodeo Alisal curates personalized PD, which not only saves me time, but also helps me to grow and learn professionally.”

– Maricar Osorio, Alisal Union Grade 2 Teacher