I’m going to my first EdCampBoston in just a few weeks! What is EdCamp, you might ask? According to their website, it’s a “free professional development unconference for teachers by teachers.” Participants basically create the schedule for that day based on their interests. It provides an opportunity for educators to share in peer-to-peer collaboration and to broaden their professional network. An opportunity for educators to be in control of their own professional development! Sounds wonderful doesn't it? Considering that the tickets (over 300) for this year’s Boston “unconference” sold out in just 6 hours, a lot of educators apparently do think it’s a fabulous opportunity!
Having received my “golden ticket” to this year’s “unconference” prompted me to start thinking about professional development (PD). What is its purpose/objective? How is PD deployed at most districts/my district? And, most important, what can teachers do to ensure that they are engaged in PD opportunities that meet their needs?
While my district does an admirable job in planning for and providing PD opportunities, there still exists the issue of “so much to do/learn and so little time.” Much of our PD time is spent on UbD, DDMs, and the latest evaluation requirements. (Thank goodness this isn't a NEASC year - that sucks up all the available PD time!) Educators can feel frustrated with all that they’d like to do and learn versus the reality that it’s just not always possible. I encourage those educators that would like to get a little more control of their PD to “get social.” There is a vast collection of great resources available to educators on just about any topic - online - for free. Making connections with like-interested educators is as easy as signing up for an account on Twitter, Pinterest, Diigo or Instagram, to name just a few excellent social media tools. There are countless blogs written by educators that are passionate about teaching that you can easily follow to obtain new ideas and insights on just about any educational topic.
The websites listed below are a few of the articles that I've come across (thanks to those fabulous educators that I follow on Twitter) that you may find useful as you begin to take advantage of all the resources that social media has to offer. All these sites are available on my Diigo Library as well. I add new resources to my library fairly often so please visit and help yourself to any resources that you may find useful.
- Professional development reform: 8 steps to make it happen
- 3 Inspired Approaches to Teacher Professional Development
- Ten Resolutions Every Educator Should Make | Wired Educator
- DIY Professional Development: Resource Roundup
- Teachers as Technology Trailblazers: Social Media Gives Professional Development a Long Tail
- Professional Development:Education Reform
- 10 Ways Teacher Planning Should Adjust To The Google Generation
- Edcamp Boston | May 4, 2013 @ Microsoft 1CC
- 5 Tips to Help Teachers Who Struggle with Technology
- 10 principles of effective professional learning | What Ed Said
- Google Education
- My PLN course blog
- Educators get connected: Twitter edition
- The 4 Components of a DIY Professional Development Toolkit
- What does great professional development look like to you?
- P2PU | Learning for everyone, by everyone, about almost anything
- Why You Need a Personal Learning Network [video] – SimpleK12
- My Technology Blog
- 12 Reasons to Get Your School District Tweeting This Summer
- Digital Footprints- Your New First Impression - The Educator's PLN
- The Innovative Educator: 5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network
- The Adventures of Library Girl: PLN Starter Kit: An Exercise in Crowd Sourced Learning
- How Social Media can Enhance Schools as Professional Learning Communities