From the emails and comments I am getting recently, it is really clear that folks in our field are in need of a professional development roadmap that is independent of whatever our local districts do or do not provide.
Let’s celebrate and share these rich and mostly free strategies:
1. The Common Craft In Plain English video series provides no nonsense explanations of nearly all things 2.0 and many of us use these little videos in professional development workshops. Watch them, share them, embed them.
2. When I need to get up to date quickly, I often look for presentations created by folks I respect and I search the SlideShare archive. I am blown away by the content our colleagues freely share.
3. Discussion hubs:
- Steve Hargadon’s Classroom 2.0 offers a community of tech-leading educators, as well as regular live sessions on Classroom 2.0 Live. On Saturdays, Sue Waters, the energetic and enthusiastic Aussie, leads Classroom 2.0 LIVE! Beginner Series a great series to get your feet wet using the new tools. Check out the archive for those cool sessions you may have missed! The Future of Education community also hosts a nifty live and archived interview series.
- EdTechTalk is the home of number of lively discussion shows every week, including: Seedlings, Parents as Partners, Women of Web2.0, Teachers Teaching Teachers, 21st Century Learning, EdTechWeekly, It’s Elementary
4. ISTE’s SIGMS, currently led by Lisa Perez, offers a variety of ways to get involved and retooled. Join the group and participate in the community discussion in the ISTE Ning. The AASL-SIGMS Virtual Learning Community hosts regular meetings in Second Life featuring notable speakers like Alan November, Mike Eisenberg, Doug Johnson. Among many other things, ISTE’s Second Life Wiki shares an archive of videos from the ISTE Eduverse Talks in Second Life. Facebook users might prefer to join the ISTE Facebook
Contact Lisa (aka Elaine Tulip) for further information about upcoming events.
5. TeacherLibrarian Ning is a meeting place for TLs all over the world. I started this one, but it needs real leadership. I’d love a few volunteers to inspire forum discussions and polls and more. Please email me if you’d like to be made an administrator!
6. Check in regularly with David Warlick’s Hitchhikr to see what’s hot and to keep up to date on upcoming confs on- and offline.
7. Absolutely better late than never! Visit any already held conference and experience it from a distance. November Learning and last year’s ISTE/NECC host a wealth of fabulous video and slideshows and wikis filled with resources for learning. Here’s our Smackdown Wiki from NECC09 in DC.
8. Join or visit any of a variety of relevant bookmark sharing groups in Diigo. I belong to: Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom, Diigo in Education, Educators, History Teachers, Web 2.0 @ School, Project-Based Learning, Teacher-Librarians, eLearning 2.0, High School Librarians. You have so many choices!
9. Plan to attend the free, global K12 Online Conference. You will be amazed at the wealth of options. Experience presentations by leaders, thinkers, and practitioners (most participants span all three categories). Participate in the live discussion. Visit and share the archive. The official conference begins the week of November 30, but preconference events are already starting.
10. Follow a few bloggers. Just a few. Visit my NewTools page on blogging for lists of teachers and librarians who blog.
11. Follow a few Tweeters. Just a few. Visit my NewTools page on tweeting for resources to build your network. One of my personal favorites is Twitter4Teachers.
12. I’ve been maintaining this page on 2.0 Learning Resources. Start anywhere, but I recommend visiting:
- Helene Blowers’ Learning 2.0
- California School Library Learning 2.0 (start one in your own state or explore independently!)
- 25 Tools 2009 (Jane Hart)
- WebTools4U2Use (Donna Baumbach’s Amazing collection of tools and ideas for integration!)
- AASL’s Best Web Sites for Teaching and Learning
- Larry Ferlazzo’s Best 2.0 Tools for Education 2009
13. Attend AASL09, both on- and offline. The Learning Times b-there platform is now live. If you are going to Charlotte, please visit the Bloggers’ Cafe and attend and/or volunteer to present unconference sessions. Many truly dedicated and enthusiastic professionals will work with you to help you get up to speed. I hope to see you there! Ask questions of anyone on our Geek Team. We will be wearing geek@aasl ribbons.
14. Steve Hargadon of Classroom 2.0 has offered us Elluminate space and time for our own monthly/regular discussions. I cannot commit to planning and hosting these by myself. Will anyone step up and take the lead? (I promise to help.)
Please share more options in your comments!