doing professional development differently

Professional development can often feel like jumping into the deep end of a pool. It is offered with a “sink-or-swim” mentality – here is a stranger with whom you have no relationship, listen to all of this new information, remember a bunch of out-of-context strategies, plan to use them in your classroom, and let’s celebrate all that we “learned” today. Are you a good swimmer? Do you try to navigate everything being presented but struggle to keep your head above water? Or like many PD participants, do you often give up and resign yourself to drown in the sea of inauthentic and ineffective professional development? In our classrooms, we know that meaningful learning requires relationship, context, and time. Yet far too often, teachers are thrown into antiquated PD models and expected to learn with none of these essential supports. 

In short: one shot workshops don’t work. Our aim is to change that model to deliver real results.


This plan includes the traditional PD model of a single day onsite or virtual day of learning with one or more of the EMC² Learning guides, as well as online access to select resources curated from a larger collection of activity templates. As all solutions are customizable to suit the unique needs and scale of your organization, teams may also select a few add-ons to the event that makes it more than just a one off PD.


This solution is where we start to do the real work of creating a change, and is designed for organizations that would like to invest in ongoing PD that have continued support. Foundations plan solutions include all of the features of the Blueprints plan, plus one additional virtual event before or after the on-site training — which can be through additional webinars, in person training, or virtual Q&A sessions. In addition, solutions offered at the Foundation plan level also include 24/7 access to our full library of more than 200 classroom activity templates and teacher resources. This plan is highly customizable.



This plan is for our larger or longer term clients. This is a great solution if you want to invest in professional development at scale. The Sustainability plan will come with greater and greater discounts for each of the services provided, as we will work with your team to design an annual contract and serve as PD specialists working on retainer for your school or organization. By creating a longer term relationship with your teachers and admin team, we are able to provide our highest level of ongoing support for your organization.


custom engineer a PD solution for your organization

Imagine a vast streaming library with practical, binge-worthy instructional strategies for any course or content area. EMC² Learning’s website offers a quality assurance guarantee that everything at your fingertips is rigorous, relevant, instructionally sound, royalty free, high quality, socially emotionally responsible, research backed, and precision engineered for student engagement. The 24/7 members-only resource library available at features hundreds of templates, resources, teaching activities, and instructional videos designed to help make an immediate impact in classrooms for any age.


Together, Michael and John have published two best-selling education books. With more than 120 five-star Amazon ratings, Michael’s Explore Like a Pirate: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your Learners (DBC 2015) is widely regarded as the definitive classroom gamification guide. Less than one year after its release, Book Authority rated John’s EDrenaline Rush: Game-Changing Student Engagement Inspired by Theme Parks, Mud Runs, and Escape Rooms (DBC 2019) was named one of the 20 top education books of all time. And together, Michael and John’s first title together (DBC Summer 2021) offers a fascinating blend of practical strategies and eye opening research into the science behind what makes playful pedagogy so irresistable for students of all ages. EMC² Learning is proud to bring all three of these publications together and offer bulk discounts with online book studies included free of charge in the package quote for teams of any size.


Have your members get to know Michael and John before the event, have the opportunity to review their session materials in advance, and are given the opportunity to explore their own feelings and thoughts about what they will be learning ahead of time. A pre-conference webinar or livestream with Michael and John can prepare your participants for meaningful learning and help establish goals they hope to accomplish during and after their PD experience.


The human brain is hard-wired for novelty, and a little spark of imagination can inspire a world of change. Working closely in conjunction with your event organizers, our EMC² Engagement Engineers will create a never-before-seen variant of any one of our high energy classroom activities to create a training activity unique to your school or organization. This is an exciting way to demonstrate the power of playful learning firsthand to a teaching faculty, and add an immediate shot of curiosity, excitement, and wonder for the day to come.

Picture the energy when your faculty steps into a training space filled with epic music before taking part in an original, 90-minute hands-on training activity like the “Cedar Rapids Resource Rumble,” or the “Hooper Mountain Elementary Escape Room,” or a #QRBreakIN like the “New Kent Trojan Throwdown” — all of which would train your teachers on a pulse-pounding new classroom pedagogy, and each of which can be tailor made with uniquely themed activities that incorporate elements such as your school’s mascot, colors, and local traditions.


Using groundbreaking research in the field of positive psychology, we harness the applied science of gamification to help educators develop rigorous and highly engaging game-inspired lesson plan ideas and course design. Working with your team virtually or in person, we offer small group opportunities to test drive any of our instructional approaches, and the chance to take part in hands-on educator training to show the power of how each unique pedagogical tool can be put to use in your classroom.


John Dewey makes the bold claim that “we do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” Michael and John can pack a lot of potential into their PD experiences, yet without intentional post-conference reflection, how much will the participant really learn? We know how powerful a final Reflection Session can be for all involved. With guided questions, small group breakouts, and next step planning – participants can end their PD experience with confidence in what they have learned and motivated to take action to apply their learning into their teaching. Now that’s high-impact PD!


Unlike so many “off-the-shelf” education competitors and pay-per worksheet websites, the resources offered on EMC² Learning are not intended to be a mere plug-and-play parade of interchangeable low-level activities. Instead, we pride ourselves on curating a vast library of rigorous, research-based classroom resources designed to maximize student engagement with the caveat that your educators can customize these activities to meet the unique needs of their individual classroom using what we call “The 5 to 40 Formula.”

EMC² Learning offers bite size instructional doses of playful, purposeful pedagogy. In the length of an average teacher planning period (between 5 to 40 minutes), our site offers step-by-step lesson planning ideas and video explainers with sample instructional applications to walk you through everything you need to know on how, when, where, and why each resource can be uniquely modified to fit into your specific classroom.


EMC² Learning’s site offers regular webinars and live streams to their entire network. Your educators will now gain access to timely training that will give them both the support and confidence needed to apply these dynamic concepts in their classrooms. The livestreams create a space for educators to come together, celebrate success, and guide members toward greater implementation through targeted community feedback.


Each organization should meet the needs of their educators where they are at. One way to do that is literally meet them where they are; your site. These pre negotiated virtual/in person training can also be ticketed by your organization. EMC² Learning will not require any of those profits. Recordings of these events can likewise be shared on a limited basis with your members.  


We know that planning high quality professional development takes time, work, and a continued attention to detail. Together, the EMC² Learning team is eager to work with your organization through a series of listening sessions, pre-planning event emails, post-event surveys, and regular conference calls that are expressly designed to offer ongoing solutions that are responsive to your teachers. We want to know what works for you, and we’re here to help provide whatever steps and supports are necessary to deliver meaningful results uniquely suited to the ongoing needs of your team.


During an in-person conference, some of the best memories and most authentic learning occurs beyond the “official” conference time. Casual conversation and play are powerful, and EMC² Learning believes that joining in something as simple as a friendly low-stakes competition helps teachers see the value of adapting playful lesson design ideas from some of our favorite board games. So have your participants pull up a chair and join a livestream Virtual Game Night to laugh, learn, and level up! 


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