Customizing Your Professional Development: Your PLN
Educational blogs, Twitter chats, and online webinars are a convenient way to gain knowledge on various topics that are relevant to all professional educators, including Common Core, supporting English learners, literacy, RtI, technology, discipline-specific topics and more.
These social media resources help educators build and customize their own Personal Learning Network to connect with educators worldwide from the comfort of your own iPad, computer or other Internet-connected device. For the most part, these options for professional learning are free (sometimes you are required to sign up/register for the site).
Reading education-related blogs, especially ones written by classroom teachers, can spark new ideas for you to try in your own classroom. Typically education bloggers share their handouts, examples of student work, and photos of the experience which gives you a vision of what occurred.
Good education-related blog sources
Twitter, a micro-blogging service, is a great way to read short (140 character) snippets from anyone you choose to follow. Educators often use it to share their classroom ideas and to ask questions of their Twitter colleagues, through the use of education-specfic #hashtags. Popular Twitter hashtags are #edchat and #cpchat.
Webinars offer more formalized learning experiences were presenters share information and participants can ask questions. What’s nice about webinars is that if you are unable to participate on the day/time a webinar occurs, typically you can review the presentation and materials at a later point in time.
Good webinars sources:
- Schools Moving Up (upcoming and archived)…this has many great webinars on various topics, particularly around supporting English learners
- International Center for Leadership in Education (new/archived)
- Bringing Sense to the Common Core State Standards
- A Look at Using Social Media in the Classroom
- Common Core 360 (webinar series)
- Education Week (new/archived)
- PBS Teachers (new/archived)
- Lunchtime Learning – Twitter for Teachers! (cshmsfaculty.wordpress.com)
- Blogging and Twitter… But Wait! There’s More! (sarathibeault.wordpress.com)
- DIY Professional Learning (whatedsaid.wordpress.com)
- The Effects of Budget Tightening on PD (21stcenturylearning.typepad.com)
- Using Social Media for Student Learning (studentlifeguru.com)
- How Twitter Can Turn One-Way Webinars Into Two-Way Conversations (hubspot.com)