What works? Where do you find it? How do you document it?
As we all know, one size does not fit all. Just as in the classroom, the professional development teachers need must be personalized, individualized, relevant to their work, timely, etc. So how do you find this elusive PD? I tend to look online and access my PLN. Over the years I have used Twitter (since March 2008), Ning, Classroom 2.O, Google +, edweb and oh so many other online spaces. Some have lasted, others have gone the way of Plurk and Second Life. If I had to choose one space that is amazing- it has to be Twitter. I can get more ideas, and resources from my Twitter network in one evening than I could use in a year. This, of course does depend on your network. A really good network can be a godsend when you need ideas, how-tos, etc. One really good thing that has happened over the last few years, is that you no longer have to find the thousand wonderful resource people in your field- just pop in on a few edu chats and lurk. The very best way I know to do this- without getting overwhelmed by the speed of the tweets flying by is Participate. Tweetdeck is another choice, but can sometimes get a little wonky. I love that even if I miss my favorite chats- it collects all the links and resources shared and I can peruse them later. Check out what is on offer here. On just about any day, you can find anywhere from 15 to 60 edu chats- from all disciplines, from various geographic areas, for all teachers PreK- higher ed. Jerry Blumengarten, Cybraryman has a calendar of all the chats that you can add to have them all at hand.
Hate Twitter? Try virtual conferences
I love/hate Twitter. It can be an enormous timesuck- worse than Facebook, which by the way has some excellent PD- BreakoutEdu, Hyperdocs, UpperElementary... are a few of the FB groups that I try to check in on every day.
So, try a virtual conference. These conferences are generally broadcast live as well as being recorded to watch at your leisure. If you like handouts, most have pdfs or slides available afterwards. What are some great virtual conferences?
I'm looking forward to this one from LifeLong Kindergarten at MIT. It starts October 18- and it's free! I took a similar course, maybe 4 years ago and am still in touch with the amazing educators from around the world who joined the class to learn about Scratch and creativity. Learn more here. "LCL is organized as a six-week online course (starting on October 18, 2017), but its real goal is to cultivate an ongoing learning community in support of creative learning around the world. "
Everyday Topics- Short & Focused
Another contender for PD is Simple K12. I had a subscription for years and liked the webinars when I had a chance to watch. They also have a very comprehensive library of archived webinars. You can get PD certificates for live shows and after taking a quiz on the recording. Depending on what you are doing, it can get redundant. It is not free, although sometimes they do offer free days on some topics- ie. this coming Saturday: Amazing FREE Google Basics Training Online Event Saturday, October 14th Starting at 10:00 am ET They also have big "sales" for subscriptions- sometimes half price, or buy one year, get the next for half... etc. Check out the topics, see what appeals.
How do you find your path to PD?
The lists of PD providers seems to be endless. What works for you? Where do you find inspiration? Guidance? Discover new methods to use in class?