Saturday, July 16, 2011

No Excuses for Educators to Go Beyond - Professional Development

I truly believe that institutions are not able to provide all the professional development opportunities an educator needs. In the past, workshops, training sessions, lectures with invited speakers were the only way to go for professional development, and we thought that this would suffice. Certainly not true anymore. One-size-fits-all kind of training seems to me so outdated if you consider the limitless online possibilities. Surely, we could look for paid online courses, but my focus is on free (yes, totally free!) educational opportunities for teachers who want to move further, have a breath of fresh air, aim to be more engaging, and look for inspiring ideas for the classroom.

There are just so many options, but I'll focus on three to keep it simple and avoid our own excuses of things being too overwhelming. No excuses anymore, learning instead:

  • Follow Sue-Lyon Jones's Scoop it with the latest news on professional development opportunities. 
  • Join a Community of Practice. I'd highly recommend the Webheads, a group of inspired educators always on the learning loop
  • Take one of the free online sessions offered by the Electronic Village Online every January. Sessions range from teaching Young Learners to adventuring yourself in Second Life. Every year new educational topics are explored.
So, what are you waiting for? Why would you wait for the next conference or the next workshop if you have everything at the tip of your fingers?

There's no excuse of time, money or institutional issues that will resist the incredible chance you have to connect to like-minded educators online, learn a lot, and give another meaning to your teaching career.

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