In addition to the various in-person professional development opportunities that are offered by the Montana Office of Public Instruction, our foundation for statewide PD is the Teacher Learning Hub.In July 2013, Montana was awarded an American Federation ofTeachers (AFT) Innovation Grant to create the Montana Digital Professional Learning Network (MDPLN).
MEA-MFT (now MFPE) and the Montana Digital Academy (MTDA) partnered with the Office of Public Instaruction (OPI) to design professional development delivery vehicle with the primary goal of addressing the challenges of distance, time, access, and equity for Montana educators. At the conclusion of the AFT Innovation Grant in August 2015, the MDPLN partners decided to transition the program to OPI to ensure continued success and sustainability.
In November 2015, MDPLN was transformed into the OPI Teacher Learning Hub. In its home at the OPI, the Hub is committed to offering quality online learning that is engaging, relevant, accessible, and free of cost. The Hub is administered and staffed in the OPI Content Standards and Instruction division with support from: Montana’s GEAR UP program at the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education; OPI Educational Opportunity and Equity division; OPI Special Education Division; and, the Montana educators who create and facilitate courses. This support allows for the diversification of course offerings, including 4 types of courses, and an expanded catalog of more than 100 courses.
With users increasing to nearly 9,000 in 2017, the Hub added a second full-time specialist in January 2018, with support from the Montana Comprehensive Literacy Program Grant. Throughout the courses offered through the Hub, digital learning and instructional materials are embedded.