The expansion of online learning has resulted in teachers needing personalized professional development. Utilizing resources available online, it is easier then ever to get this. In the past few weeks I have attended four Twitter Chats: #EdtechBridge, #SMXChat, #HeadTeacherChat, and #edchat, and four live webinars: Emerging Technology are you ready to trust them?, Create a learning environment, Through a Teacher’s Eyes: Using Classroom and Other Google for Education Tools, and Web Imperatives: Four Lighting Talks from Four Web Makers. I was incredibly pleased with each of these professional development opportunities. Let me address both types.
Twitter chats are when a group of people with similar interests come together to discuss a topic using a hashtag to follow the conversation. They move very quickly but contain loads of information and resources. In each of the Twitter chats I attended I was welcomed by the leader and the other participants were very supportive and helpful. When I participated, no matter how nervous I was, I felt good because other participants were right there to respond, retweet, or even favorite my opinions. I felt like a valued member of each chat, that is special. Twitter chats are a crucial tool in the professional development of 21st century teachers. Resources are exchanges in large numbers and help is available in real time! Here are a few examples of what the chats I attended looked like:
This conversation was focused on how to get parents more involved with their children’s online education. My take away from this Twitter Chat was to assign parent student assignments using online tools. I love the idea and am excited to see it play out.
This Twitter Chat was about marketing online. What I took away from this Twitter Chat was that one post, bad review, or negative remark can ruin your reputation. Everything we post online, from school projects to responses to students or coworkers, should be well thought out and double checked.
This Twitter Chat was a coming together of educators to discuss how to plan for surprise government visits or checkups. I was surprised to see how much teachers had set aside for the day when they get a surprise check up. I would like to be the teacher that is always ready for anyone to come into my class, knowing I am well prepared everyday.
This Twitter chat was about how to use Twitter in education. I really liked this chat as I collected many resources.
The Webinars I attended were also fun. There are “backchannels” that are available for people who are watching the webinar to participate in conversation outside of the webinar in order to share resources and ask questions. Here are some samples of what the Webinars looked like:
Emerging Technology are you ready to trust them?
This webinar was about emerging technologies that can be used in an educational setting. I collected so many resources from this webinar. It was first time experiencing something like this and when it was over I was shocked about how much I had learned in such a short time.
Through a Teacher’s Eyes: Using Classroom and Other Google for Education Tools
This webinar focused on Google tools for education. I learned so much about what Google has to offer and was taken aback at all of the possibilities. I love Google now!
Create a learning environment
This webinar had a backchannel located on Twitter that I actively participated in. The webinar was about how to create a good learning environment for students. I took away a fun idea to have parents and students come in during the first week of school and help decorate the room together. How fun!
Web Imperatives: Four Lighting Talks from Four Web Makers
This webinar was about internet in the classroom, different tools available for education and participants came up with some great assignment ideas.
All in all, this experience has changed the way I see professional development and education in general. I feel very lucky to have learned of this tool and am grateful to be involved in this online expansion of education and connectedness.