“It doesn’t apply to me” or “I wish we could learn about _____.”
Students list this as one of their top wishes as well. Ask them.
Well, here are some ideas on how to personalize your professional development/professional learning. More to come on how you can also personalize the learning of our students and you can check out this post I wrote this summer Inevitable – Personalized Learning
For what it’s worth I am not an expert in any of the areas below. Just a principal trying to find my way and continue on the path of continuous improvement!
1. Join Twitter.
Yes, I will continue to push Twitter as the No. 1 tool for professional learning. Those of you utilizing Twitter for this purpose don’t need to be sold. However, those not yet using Twitter for this purpose please read how Twitter has helped me grow professionally.
Twitter is 24/7 learning (I know some of you think I’m on it 24/7 haha), collaborating, sharing, growing, and connecting to great educators across the country.
Here are just a few of the examples of how I have used Twitter for my professional learning:
Twitter chats – I have participated in the following chats at least once: #satchat, #10tuestweets, #sschat, #ptchat, #ntchat, and #edchat. I have been a lurker on the following chats: #gtchat, #titletalk, #engchat, #flipclass, and #educoach.
You don’t have to join Twitter to participate in chats or follow some of the dialogue either. If you use www.tweetchat.com you can type in a hashtag – #cmschat – to see all the tweets with that tag on it. It is a great way to dip your toes in the water without going all in with Twitter.
Why participate or lurk on chats? This is a great way to reaffirm what you are doing, pick up new ideas to try, or ask questions. From the chats I have participated in I know have a few go-to people when I have questions. I also have a few people in which I can follow-up with on occasion as well.
Attending conferences from home or work – This summer I was able to attend ISTE (San Diego), FlipClass (Chicago), #140conf, #ascd12, and others. This was free and many of the presenters and those in attendance were tweeting out great information and resources. Some even were streaming live and I was able to watch online as well.
Another great use of Twitter is the fact information is constantly flowing and usually well ahead of mainstream media. For example – Khan Academy and Flipclass has been all over Twitter for some time. However, when 60 minutes did a report on Khan a few teachers saw this and the media picked up on it. However, this was at least 6 months after I had read about it on Twitter. So, to me Twitter is on the “cutting edge” of learning.
Connections – As I mentioned earlier I now have some go-to people depending on the subject matter. I would have never made these connections with teachers, principals, Tech specialist, librarian, superintendents, or counselors were I not connected on Twitter. These educators also give me the perspective from all 50 states and Canada.
2. Watch Webinars.
There were several free yesterday that I shared with you all earlier this week. I hope you were able to catch one of the. Unfortunately I was unable, but am hoping they are archived, usually they are, and I can watch them later.
I will share this information with you as well.
I have never attended an EdCamp, but will be on Saturday, Sept. 22 here in Springfield. #edcampsgf and @edcampSGF www.edcampspringfield.org are all ways to find and learn more about this upcoming event to be held at The Summit Prep here in town. An edcamp is defined as: an “unconference” professional development. Edcamps center around group discussion and attendee participation. If you go to the link they have a video from Edcamp Philly. There is also a list of possible learning sessions to be offered.
I have participated in edcamps via Twitter during edcampKC and edcampSTL last year and am very excited about my first in person. This will also give me a chance to meet several of my Twitter connections in person as well.
If interested go to the website and register or see me for more questions. I hope you will join me Saturday, Sept. 22 at The Summit.
We have many experts in our own building and district. Reach out to collaborate and learn from them. We are having at least three scheduled learning opportunities here at Cherokee with the first on Sept. 21. We are also going to utilize Dave Duff and Debbie Hammer through out the year as well. I am also going to offer after school sessions as well.
Also, don’t forget about our Wikispace at www.cherokeems.wikispaces.com of information available. Take a few minutes to check it out. I also plan to lead a session to walk people through the wiki and how to use it and add resources to the page as well.
By no means am I an expert in any of the areas I have mentioned, but I am able and willing to share what little I do know to help. I also can help point you in the right direction or connect you with others of more benefit than I can be.
Again, these are just a few ways to personalize your professional learning.
My motto is “Don’t wait for the learning to come to you. Be proactive and go get it!”
Your feedback and comments are always welcomed.
Happy Learning Cherokee!