Professional development for teachers is important. It helps teachers remember that they are learners too. There are, however, different kinds of professional development out there, some good and some not so good. Teachers have probably experienced both at one time or another.
Many times PD for teachers can be extremely expensive and can take the teacher out of their classroom for a day or two. There are however some alternatives out there to the big, time consuming, and expensive PD.
Two of my favorites are Twitter and EdCamp.
There is a huge collection of teachers using Twitter. Sharing ideas and resources, making connections across the world.
In my district we have PLC or Professional Learning Communities. We get together and make goals. We research possible solutions and share ideas with each other. It is a collaborative effort. Twitter enables me to have a world-wide PLC team. I have gleaned so much from links and ideas that these fellow educators post, it has been amazing and all for free! The icing on the cake are the connections that are made with people that I would not have had an opportunity to meet if it had not been for Twitter.
There are all kinds of fantastic resources out on the Interwebs that can show you how to effectively use Twitter for PD and relationship forming so I won’t recreate the wheel. I will share a presentation deck that I created for one of my graduate classes on Twitter.
If you are an educator who is not on Twitter, I recommend that you take my Twitter challenge that was near the end of the above presentation deck. Won’t hurt to try!
EdCamps are an unconference. They are free, one day professional development events that are participant driven.
The presentation format is geared to encourage participation and discussion and if a session isn’t working for you, leave and go to another one!
We you arrive, breakout sessions are not set. Participates will sign up the morning of to facilitate a session. Sessions are always on a variety of topics, some technology centered and others not. You never know what will be offered.
EdCamps take place all around. There might be one near you.
This year I should venture out of the state! Maybe I’ll see you at one.