Always Learning – possibilities and practicalities
The beginning of the school year always has me energized. I’m ready to learn new things and switch around the way I do things. I’m no longer in the classroom, but I love to share with teachers. There has never been a better time for teachers to have the opportunity to learn from the experts – other teachers, consultants and people in the field in a variety of capacities. There are so many possibilities.
Then there are the practicalities. How do you learn best? Face to Face? Online? How much time do you have to spend on your personal PD? Here are a few of the many offerings coming up.
(full disclosure – LEARN is organizing this along with the local RECIT)
October 21, 2013 in Laval
One face to face opportunity coming up is the Table Summit which will feature teachers in the field who are using tablets (iPads, Chromebooks…) in the classroom. Wes Freyer will be the keynote speaker. His site: Mapping Media to the Common Core has many suggestions for using tablets for creating (narratives, radio shows and so much more) It’s easy to find web sites that list a myriad of apps, but they can be overwhelming. I like to learn from people who contextualize – pedagogy first and then the apps that support it. There are lots of sessions being offered. And face to face sessions allow you really to connect with people.
Sometimes we can’t get away from our classrooms or get the funding needed to go to conferences. There are so many opportunities to attend online conferences and workshops at no financial cost. When you are unable to attend synchronously (while it is happening) you can watch sessions later as they are usually archived. Here are a few of the many possibilities for learning from and with educators around the world. I’ve written about some of these before – but a refresher is always handy!
LEARN Web Events
(full disclosure – I help to organize them) http://learnquebec.ca/en/content/professional_development/webevents/index.html
These hour long events are held in zenlive (a kind of online classroom) and are open to Quebec teachers. They are held once or twice a month, usually in the evening, on a variety of topics. It’s a great opportunity to get in touch with Quebec teachers who are teaching the same curriculum as you are. Who knows? You might meet someone in the chat who is dealing with the same kinds of issues as you. They could become part of your learning network. You have to register for events. You can check the LEARN site for announcements of upcoming events, or sign up to get emails announcing them.
K12 Online Conference
(full disclosure: I am on the organizing committee)
The opening keynote will be available on October 14
In Week One (October 21 – 25) two sessions a day will be unveiled in each of the following strands: Open Learning and Outside Learning
Week 2 (October 28 – November 1) will feature the same number of sessions in the following strands: Leading Learning and Building Learning.
This is the only totally asynchronous (all sessions are pre-recorded and archived – most of the last 7 years of presentations are still available) conference of which I am aware. The focus of the conference is on pedagogy and technology. This has been a great source of learning for me. These sessions are created by educators in the field, many of whom are classroom teachers. There have been presentations by people from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, as well as by teachers from International Schools from around the world. This is an opportunity to learn from the best.
You only have a few minutes at a time to devote to learning new things? Tanya Avrith (from the Lester B. Pearson School Board) and Holly Clark, from San Diego, have been interviewing educators about their practice. Meet EduSlam. The segments are short, around five minutes, and you can find many ideas for integrating technology in the classroom. These little nuggets are short in terms of time, but long in terms of value!
Classroom 2.0 Live!
Saturdays at noon Eastern Time
Each week focuses on a specific topic with invited guests. With a lot of action in the chat, you learn from both the presenters and the attendees. All sessions are archived along with a myriad of links in a Livebinder to help you learn about the week’s topic in greater depth. Here’s a sample
Steve Hargadon helps to organize a series of online conferences. Here are the upcoming events. These conference take place 24 hours a day over a few days with speakers from around the world.
September 19-21, 2013
From their site: “STEMxCon will be a highly inclusive and engaging event that will encourage primary, secondary, and tertiary (K-16) students and educators around the world to share and learn about innovative approaches to STEMx learning and teaching. “ Science and math teachers as well as generalists will find sessions of interest. Not available during the conference? Pick one archived session and watch it – you may get hooked.
This initiative out of the US offers a myriad of events, tweetchats, webinars and opportunities to connect with other educators. Powerful Learning Practice has created a document: The CEM Starter Kit, for teachers who want to participate. There are great tips on how to become a connected educator.
Monday, November 18 through Friday, November 22, 2013
If last year is any indication, sessions are held 24/7 as there are speakers from around the world. The focus of the conference is global education. In addition to hearing top notch presenters, it is an opportunity to connect with educators from around the world and to find teachers who want to collaborate on global classroom projects. When I last visited the site, speakers had not yet been announced.
Here are a couple more online conferences to check out:
The Reform Symposium RSCON
October 11-13, 2013
Library 2.013 The Future of Libraries
October 18-19, 2013
Then there are online courses, tweetchats…
It may seem overwhelming, so pick and choose at your comfort level. There is no shortage of possibilities for learners of all kinds to learn, connect and renew. And in today’s world you can do that practically anywhere!