A Snapshot of Personal Professional Development (PD)
Saturday October 13, 2012 I sat drinking coffee in CT while listening to @coolcatteacher (Vicki Davis) present the keynote at Edscape in NJ organized by @NMHS_Principal (Eric Sheninger)
Many a Saturday morning 7:30-8:30 am I am on Twitter participating in #satchat moderated by @bcurrie5 (Brad Currie) and @ScottRRocco (Scott Rocco). This chat involves educators from all over the world choosing to dialogue, share, and learn about the weekly topic. On 10/13/12, #satchat was live streamed with Twitter and verbal dialogue from Edscape by @Teachercast (Jeffery Bradbury).
During the week, there are a few chats I try to participate in such as #edchat, and #isedchat, but sometimes sleep wins out. A few days before participants can vote on the topic of discussion.
Edudemic.com, a great educator resource, compiled a list of chats for educators:
October 30, 1012, home due to Hurricane Sandy, I was able to participate in a noon time #edchat, filled with educators, home and in school, having a great dialogue about #edcamp. Hurricane Sandy could not stop professional development! The day before awaiting the onslaught, @Teachercast set up a Ustream live video feed from his house, and a chat connecting anyone wanting participate. There were people from places such as NJ, Newfoundland, and Chicago, talking about Education, Technology, and of course the hurricane.
Saturday 10/27/12 I headed into the city and attended a great free professional development called @EdcampNYC. There I was able to meet great professionals such as @tomwhitby (Tom Whitby) and @mbteach (Mary Beth Hertz), whom I regularly learn from on Twitter and through the resources they are a part of:
This organization was started by educators to “Promote organic, participant-driven professional development…” Since it’s inception, these camps have been forming across the country, promoted through social media sources. It is teachers sharing with teachers, having discussions, exchanging ideas, and making lasting connections beyond their own buildings.
The Take Away
Educators used to have to rely on traveling to conferences to learn, share and collaborate. These conferences often are a lecture format, without discussion, dialogue, or interaction. They also can be costly, and limited to those with the time and resources to access them. Schools also try to bring PD opportunities to their staff, but these can also be costly.
Today, professional development has a new look. It is not just confined to face-to-face presentations, it is ongoing at any moment of the day. Through Twitter, blogs, and various online resources, conversations and sharing are going on all the time. Educators are collaborating, bringing together a variety of resources in less formal, and in many opinions, more productive ways. Today’s PD is connecting educators on a daily basis across the globe. Educators need to become connected to take advantage of the amazing online learning opportunities. They cannot sit back and let the PD come to them, but need to go actively find it and become part of the conversation. Do not wait for an administrator to say, “Hey would you like to go to this conference?” Go find the opportunities yourself because today they can be found from the coziness of your couch with a cup of coffee, or sharing a relaxed Saturday learning some great tools just around the corner. PD couldn’t even be stopped by the “Frankenstorm”.