Fueled by technology, professional development has made some sizeable changes. Online PD has become commonplace with Skype sessions, podcasts, and other types of video resources.
Connecting is substantially easier as teachers can now draw from an online educational community of learners to build effective practices and amp up their arsenal of teaching tools.
The Teaching Channel has designed an impressive video showcase where experts in the fields of teaching and learning collaborate to create learning resources and provide step by step common core guidance.
For more inspirational viewing, “Teaching Channel Presents” is broadcasted on Public Television on Saturdays at 4am (set your DVR). Episodes cover many aspects of Ed tech, STEM, Common Core, and The Arts. Full versions of past episodes are housed on The Teaching Channel Website.
Aimed at grades k-5, the Teaching Channel provides an in depth look at what innovative,
Common Core aligned teaching practices look like.
Resource sharing has reached new levels for teachers and students. Teaching and learning is now shaped by the collaboration of educators with colleagues and with students. “Another way forward is to learn more about those who have already leaped into the web to teach and to follow the emerging Learning 2.0” (Alexander, 2013, Learning from Learning 2.0 section, para. 1). With so many experts in the field, it is essential to access media, documents, and web links to remain current teaching and learning. Web 2.0 platforms have enabled easy access and increased overall communication. Edmodo is a current leader in social networking for education, allowing teachers to share information and learn from of diverse and specialized online groups. As a user friendly Web 2.0 tool, Edmodo is ideal to effectively and efficiently collaborate with colleagues and students. In the “style” of Facebook, Edmodo allows the user to post media clips, organize links, have online conversations, begin focus groups, and digitally drop assignments.
Edmodo’s ability to reach a wide variety of educators has provided a worldwide data base of colleagues. Learning from those from different parts of the world can offer educators fresh new ideas and perspectives. Many focused groups have emerged through the use of Edmodo. Project based learning, and flipped classrooms are examples of groups that I belong to. My teaching is clearly enriched by my access to media clips, discussions, and links. Over the next school year, I would like to create my own learning group that focuses on one to one computing resources for teachers and students. Using Edmodo to expand my Personal Learning network will give me access to current, innovative resources from educators worldwide.
In addition to web 2.0 tools such as Edmodo, Wikis can assist in the development of a positive online presence. While serving as a powerful communication tool, Wikis focus on the contributor. I created a district Wikispaces page as a result of a technology boot camp. Over the course of the year, district teachers have contributed resources for all core subjects for grade levels k-8. I am in the process of updating for the upcoming school year to provide more tools for successful technology integration. I am looking forward to also gaining resources from the contributions from teachers across the district. Our district wiki has quickly become a multimedia resource that has fostered collaboration between district staff. The Wiki can be found at www.d158tech.wikispaces.com. As I continue to collaborate with colleagues using a Wiki, I would like to expand this project to inviting student contributors. Allowing students to share resources and ideas will give teachers the necessary insight into the learning styles of our 21st century learners.
Alexander, B. (2013). Social Networking in Higher Education. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/books/tower-and-cloud/social-networking-higher-education.