Last week I decided to start writing a quick blog post after each Twitter chat to summarize what I got out of it and what I want to check out. This is two-fold. First, to help me reflect on what I learned/ideas I got out of the hour and help me organize and remember what I wanted to check out and try. Secondly, I hope to show Twitter-skeptics how much learning and professional discussions are actually taking place during Twitter chats! If you’re not exactly sure what a Twitter chat is, check out my post about Twitter chats that includes a key to participating, or check out the resources on my Twitter page.
#Edtechchat takes place every Monday from 8-9 p.m. EST, and always discusses something to do with technology and advancing education. The discussion this past Monday night was about personalized professional development. You can find the entire chat archive by clicking here, and you can find the #edtechchat wiki by clicking here. This is a really popular and very fast-paced chat; even Arne Duncan has moderated this chat a few times!
Here are some of my big takeaways and ideas from the chat:
- Nickie Sattler developed Teacher Expos, which are mini edcamp-like PD days where teachers chose the sessions they want to attend.
- Ben Wilkoff pointed out how valuable online communities are for “pushing us forward.” I couldn’t agree more with this. My online PLN has inspired me and given me great ideas.
- Judy Arzt said, “The tools that work best during a PD really need to be personalized to the work teachers do wit students.” This is so true. I always tell my teachers, what works for one of you in your classroom, may not work for a teacher in another discipline in their classroom. I love to show teachers new tools and encourage them to try them out, but every tool may not work in every classroom set up. That’s okay!
- I chatted back and forth with Eva Harvell about districts requiring and deciding on a lot of mandatory PD and then expecting teachers to take some of the learning into their own hands on top of that. This really overwhelms teachers and makes them feel like they can never catch a break. However, those personalized learning opportunities are usually the PD that teachers find most useful; we need to find a way to open up more time for teachers to pursue their own learning needs. We then went into some ideas on encouraging teachers to come to voluntary PD. I held a series of optional Lunch & Learns last year that went over very well.
- Elisa Farrell mentioned giving teachers the option to “test out” of certain PD, so they can move on to more advanced learning or on to other options. I really like this idea, and I feel like it seems so obvious. I did something sort of similar the first time I led Twitter PD.
- The image on this post was shared by Wesley Logsdon. I could not agree more with the quote on the image. Technology changes every day; there is always a new tool or website to try. Just when you get the hang of that one, something better comes out. If people refuse to accept the changes happening in education and infuse technology effectively into their daily teaching, they will be left behind.
These are some of the blogs and websites I want to check out that were shared:
- Gretchen Hazlin shared Fairfax County Public Schools’ PD catalog. They are a very large district and offer a wide variety of sessions in multiple formats (online, face to face, etc.).
- Katrina Stevens shared an EdSurge article about proficiency based professional development.
- Katrina Stevens shared some tools I hadn’t heard of that she recommends for personalized PD. I definitely want to check these out: LessonCast, Teachscape, Declara, Bloomboard and TeachBoost.
- Mike Vigilant talked about his desire to gamify PD for teachers. I thought this was a great idea! Greg McVerry mentioned using BadgeOS for his gamified PD and badge system. Adam Powley shared a link to his Gamification PD site. This is definitely something I want to look into more. I think gamification is a really powerful learning tool for students, and I think it could work in a similar way for adults. If you’re not into gamification in the classroom, I have to confess I wasn’t either. Then I saw Jane McGonigal’s Keynote at ISTE 2013.
- Christina Quattrocch shared an EdSurge article with a personalized PD guide.
- Rachelle Poth shared a couple of her Blendspaces that she uses for PD (bit.ly/1LxqYnJ and bit.ly/1BhuNO6). I recently learned about Blendspace, and I think it’s a great tool!
These are just some of the big ideas I took away from #edtechchat Monday night. This is one of the most popular chats with so many great ideas being shared, so I encourage you to check out the archives! To see a comprehensive list of twitter chats and their schedule, go to bit.ly/officialchatlist.
Did you participate in #EdTechChat? What would you add to the list as big takeaways or sites to check out? What do you think of Twitter chats in general?
Tech To You Later!