Thursday, February 14, 2008

Free Professional Development - A Starting Place

Being an educator in 2008 requires using a different set of skills, tools and strategies than used even ten years ago. Many have blogged about the paradigm shift required to reach/teach/promote learning with the current generation of students in our classrooms.

We know how crucial professional development is to ensure effective (seamless) technology integration. Hardware availability alone has never produced the results promised.

So, where to begin? How do we promote effective technology integration in an age where some teachers continue to resist change? Crafting your own PD plan is a great place to start, a plan that you control. This post is the first of a two part series that will serve as a starting place for "just-in-time," FREE professional development.

Check out these resources:

Online journals:

1. Edutopia - Published by the George Lucas Foundation
2. Learning & Leading with Technology - Published by ISTE, preview the current article, or search the archives
3. eSchool News - Technology News for Today's K-20 educator
4. T.H.E Journal Online - Technology Horizon's in Education
5. Technology and Learning -
6. From Now On - Jamie McKenzie's Publication

Online Resources for Web 2.0 Newbies (Learn from two of the best Media Specialists)

1. Connected Libraries Wiki - Carolyn Foote's excellent resource wiki for all things Education 2.0
2. New Tools for Learning Wiki - Joyce Valenza's excellent resource wiki for all things Education 2.0
(This list is intentionally short so as not to overwhelm you).

Within each link, are numerous additional resources that will inspire you to reflect on your own educational practices and think about what best practice looks like in your classroom. Explore, ponder, reflect. Choose one or two tools that you have never used which support learning with your students. Model lifelong learning for your students. Isn't that why you chose to become a teacher in the first place?

Additional resources welcome.


Gary S. Stager said...

Is a list of resources really professional development?

Karen Janowski said...

The online journal resources include articles that challenge thinking about best practices since we know the "sit and git" model doesn't work. That's part of the paradigm shift that I believe happens through reading, reflecting and exploring on one's own. It's "just-in-time" learning and knowing where to obtain it is helpful to integrating a new mind set.
I provide consultation services to too many teachers who are hesitant/reluctant/fearful to incorporate the tools and strategies that benefit all the learners in their classrooms. So my hope was to compile a list of resources that they can turn to on their own time that will challenge their thinking and help them realize it is time to reflect upon what actually promotes learning.
They are teachers who have sat through a great deal of professional development this year and years past and yet they are still relying on teaching methods that aren't reaching their students.
What do you think qualifies as professional development? I do believe collaboration and connection should be part of PD and that is where this model is deficient if it is not accompanied by opportunities for discussion.

Samuel said...

Two hour webquests with 5 links have frequently changed my life! : )

I remember vividly the amazing experience of first exploring, Mel Levine's site.

Jennifer Roland said...

I'm working on a compilation of the best L&L articles from the past 5 years, and I would love you and your readers to visit my blog and nominate your favorites.