PopPD: Disrupting the $18B Professional Development Market for Teachers

PopPD is modern professional development for teachers by teachers and delivered in an interactive, bite-size, social format.

PopPD is disrupting the $18B K-12 professional development (PD) market, which primarily consists of legacy professional development consulting companies. Beyond the ineffectiveness of teaching outdated methods, the delivery of these tools in a lecture format leaves teachers frustrated and unable to immediately translate any learnings into practical tools within the classroom. 

According to a recent article in EdSource, schools districts are lowering their professional development requirements instead of making them more relevant and accessible to empower and retain teachers, who are leaving the profession in record numbers. Similarly, Professors Pam Grossman and Zachary Herrmann at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, outline the main challenges facing teacher professional development: “it fails to cultivate teacher ownership; it is short, sporadic, and disconnected from the classroom; it’s one-size-fits-all; and it’s not collaborative.” These are precisely the shortcomings that PopPD is addressing.

PopPD changes the game for modern teachers by supercharging how they already get advice and best practices–from peer influencers in an accessible, rich-media, social format. The platform goes beyond just lectures or lesson plans to provide relevant and actionable resources in accessible multimedia formats to elevate learning strategies and handle challenging real-life situations in the classroom. PopPD is available anytime, unlike traditional professional development, is contextual, and includes a community of like-minded teachers seeking to adopt new strategies, tools, and technologies.

The company is combining the power of structured online learning with the insights and courses of teacher influencers, many of whom are already sharing and monetizing their knowledge on ill-suited channels like Instagram and TikTok. Teacher influencers already pay as much as $1,500 to repackage their professional development material in more user-friendly formats. With PopPD, they now have a delivery platform and community to broaden their reach and enhance their offerings.

After extensive user feedback and research, PopPD is continuing to expand and improve both the creator and learner experience to include efficient pathways through topics, social collaboration, and better organization and planning tools. 
PopPD was recently named by GSV Ventures, a top EdTech investor, to the Elite 200 list of the top pre-seed and seed stage EdTech startups globally. The company is led by Alissa McDonald and Megan Kensington. Both Alissa and Megan are former teachers, who established separate businesses to support teachers. They combined forces and created PopPD in early 2022, recognizing the gaps exposed in teacher support by the coronavirus pandemic.

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