In the time between our third & fifth week in our Social Networking class, we were asked to explore Live Virtual Professional Development by:
- Attending & contributing to four (4) live webinars.
- Attending & contributing to four (4) live Twitter chats.
- Write a blog post on the webinars and live chats we attended.
- Describe how we contributed, & what we learned both in terms of content and the process of doing real-time professional development.
- Demonstrate through screenshots and/or a copy of the live chat how we participated.
Artifact #1: Webinars
The majority of the webinars I attended were on technology in the classroom through Simple K-12. They were wonderful! The last webinar I attended was from a private vendor who I follow on Facebook called Create-abilities.
- 10 Activities that will have students moving with Mobile Devices
- Easy QR Code Projects to Differentiate & Energize Learning
- Creative & Engaging Mobile Assessments for Active Learning
- Math Tasks: Proven Methods that will Transform your Math Block
I loved the Simple K-12 webinars because of the back channel chats that I could participate while the facilitators presented their material. I was able to connect with several different teachers I am still talking to and collaborating with. One in particular, has another fourth grade class with whom my class has begun chatting with using Google. I contributed to these chats by presenting my own ideas of how I used technology (mobile devices, QR Codes, & mobile assessments) and then by taking notes. The wonderful thing about these “notes” was that the “notes page” was shared therefore all of our notes were available for everyone to see/use. Specifically, I am putting into place many of the ideas I got from a few of the webinars, like using QR Codes with voice recordings (I plan on using that in my Spanish courses for students to practice speaking) yay! The Math Tasks webinar by Create-abilities was my least favorite because the presentor removed the “backchannel” & “chatting” options. She said that previous attendees had said it was ‘distracting’ from her presentation, however I didn’t think that was the case at all for the other webinars I attended, quite the contrary, I felt they enhanced the presentations because of additional ideas that were shared. In the Math Tasks webinar I did participate by answering surveys and asking questions directly to the presenter via e-mail. I didn’t enjoy this as much because I felt it was more of a sales pitch. Lesson learned, webinars from private vendors will try to sell. 🙂 I did get some ideas on organizing my math block more effectively and I’ve tweaked with that some to apply some of the ideas I learned.
Artifact #2: Twitter Live Chats
Twitter Live Chats are now one of my favorite things. It is seriously the fastest way to make an hour go by. These chats are SO fast paced and there are so many people participating in dialogue all over the world, it’s amazing. I ended up particpating in 8 but I am presenting my five favorites, that I hope to become a regular participant in, they are:
There is NO WAY to be conducting professional development without using Twitter Live Chats, that is my conclusion after participating. I’ve never learned so much about education and specifically best practices that are working right now in other places all around the world. In the #langchat I particpated in I shared some ideas of how I use podcasts in the classroom to help students practice speaking and learned about a slew of really helpful foreign language teacher blogs that it seemed everyone else knew of and loved. The #whatisschool topic was “Using Modern Tech to Enhance Learning” so it was right up my alley of interest. I learned various tools people are using, in particular blogs that teachers are employing in their classrooms and shared how my students use QR Codes during math centers. Out of pure interest and curiosity I participated in the #geniushour chat. I have been enthralled by genius hour ever since I first learned about it and in this chat I learned how others are bringing genius hour to life in their classrooms. I shared ideas on how to create a safe and flexible learning environment but I felt that I benefitted the most by seeing how it putting something like this into play in the classroom isn’t so scary after all. The #edtechchat focused on digital textbooks for this session and that wasn’t too exciting for me but I was still able to learn how much digital textbooks have evolved and heard the case for employing them more often in the classroom from many participants. I don’t feel like I contributed much but did answer all questions based on my experience with digital textbooks as a graduate student. My favorite was the #4thchat probably because I was surrounded by others in my same 4th grade “world”. I shared quite a bit about the flexible seating I am doing in my classroom and even ended up e-mailing back and forth with a few other participants to brainstorm ideas. I learned a lot about how to add movement into the classroom, in particular using The Walking Classroom, for which I am already in the process of filling out an application for a grant to try and implement it at my school.
Twitter Live Chats were the game-changer for me as a teacher. I cannot believe I had never participated in this before. I also wish that schools evolved to help teachers learn using this “evolution” of professional development. There is so much to learn and Twitter is making creating those connections so easy.
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:
- AECT Standard 4.1 Collaborative Practice: – By participating in virtual live profession development I had the opportunity to collaborate with my peers and other subject matter experts to analyze learners, develop and make plans to design instruction, and will later be able to evaluate its impact on learners.