Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Online Professional Development
I recently participated in an online professional development entitled, The Needed Virus, provided by the Discovery Educator Network and Learning.Com. Well actually, I viewed an archived webinar from April of this year. The wonders of technology continue: not only can educators take live courses via the internet, but if we missed one, we can still benefit from the learning thanks to the archives. There are quite a few key elements to providing successful professional development online, and I highly recommend you read this ISTE article, Successful Online Professional Development, as a way to learn from others' successes.
In the particular webinar I viewed there was extensive information about creating your own Professional Learning Network. The content was much the same as my graduate school course, Improving Productivity and Practice with Technology, for educational leadership. There are three purposes for creating a PLN: connecting, contributing, and collaborating. Using tools like Twitter, Google Reader, Wikispaces, and Diigo and educator can enhance his/her teaching practice by connecting with other educators, contributing his/her own experiences and knowledge, and collaborating with others to improve the quality of education. All of this can happen while you are sitting in the comfort of your own home!
The primary benefits on online professional development include: