DIY Professional Development: Resource Roundup
Why wait for formal environments, when there are so many opportunities to learn new skills on your own? We’ve compiled a list of the best resources for do-it-yourself PD to get you started.
All About Twitter
- Taking Charge: 5 Key Strategies for DIY PD, by Michelle Manno (2015)
Educators can create their own professional development opportunities with the many resources available via social media, and by bringing their admins on board with this new model, writes Manno.
- DIY Virtual Professional Development: Taking Ownership of Your Learning, by Monica Burns (2015)
Burns suggests seven online strategies to help teachers take ownership of their professional development, including sane ways to embrace the information-rich Twitter experience, Google Hangouts, and video tutorials.
- 8 Tips to Create a Twitter-Driven School Culture, by Elana Leoni (2014)
Edutopia's director of social media strategy and marketing provides tips that administrators can use to create a more connected school culture by modeling Twitter use and encouraging staff to work, play, and learn through the medium. Another great post from Leoni: 5 Tips for Taking Advantage of Twitter Over the Summer.
- Twitter Support for Educators and Parents, by Joe Mazza (2014)
Mazza presents two new initiatives -- the #Nt2T chat and the Twitter 101 eCourse -- designed to bring teachers, school leaders and parents into the communication-rich Twitterverse. Also from Mazza: 12 Reasons to Get Your School District Tweeting.
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Twitter in Education, by Amy Erin Borovoy (2012)
Twitter has become a powerful tool for teaching and learning. VideoAmy offers up a playlist of videos that will help you learn to use the social platform for networking, sharing resources, and more.
- How to Use Twitter to Grow Your PLN, by Betty Ray (Updated 2012)
Ray, Edutopia's director of programming and innovation, discusses how to get started using Twitter to expand your personal learning network, and provides a list of education-based "chats" on Twitter. You might also want to read Suzie Boss's early introduction to educational uses for Twitter, Twittering, Not Frittering: Professional Development in 140 Characters.
The Un-Conference Model
- Promoting Playful Learning Through Teacher Networks, by Philipp Schmidt (2015)
Through Edcamps and the ScratchED community, teachers can become champions of the kind of playful learning that will help their students thrive, writes Schmidt.
- It's Time to Make Learning Fun Again, by Carl Hooker (2015)
Hooker highlights how Interactive Learning Challenges can bring professional development events to life, by merging collaboration, interactivity, and problem solving in a hands-on environment for learning technology.
- Edcamps: Remixing Professional Development, by Andrew Marcinek (2014)
Marcinek gives us a personal perspective on how the edcamp model changed his professional focus and provides examples of how he's adapted this model for staff, students, and community. Thinking of organizing an edcamp? Check out Resources for Organizing an Edcamp for a curated list of resources to help you on your way.
- Make. Write. Remix. Share. by Paul Oh (2013)
Oh, program associate with the National Writing Project, discusses the Educator Innovator initiative, the Summer of Making and Connecting, and opportunities for educators to make, learn, and share. If you're unfamiliar with Maker Faire, you may want to check out VideoAmy's Five-Minute Film Festival: DIY Education at the Maker Faire.
- Empowering Teachers with DIY, by Betty Ray (2011)
Ray shares how DIY community and events -- like Mini-Maker Faires, TEDx events, and edcamps -- can empower teachers.
Tech Tools on Your Own Time
- Game Face On: Gamification for Engaging Teachers in PD, by Matt Baier (2015)
Learn how two educators motivated and engaged their faculty to master the challenges of learning how to teach in a 1:1 environment, by gamifying their school's PD.
- 20 Top Pinterest Tips, by Vicki Davis (2015)
Pinterest is an educator's dream come true because of its many options for curating and sharing ideas, displaying student work, and building a PLN. Also be sure to check out Eric Sheninger's blog post, Pinterest for Educators?
- Tools for Professional Learning: Curate, Share, Connect, by Beth Holland (2014)
Holland recalls how she came to recognize that professional learning embodies curating, sharing, and connecting, and reviews the tools that help her meet these needs.
- The 4 Components of a DIY Professional-Development Toolkit, by Dave Guymon (2014)
Guymon, an online middle school teacher, provides an overview of how Twitter, blogs, edcamps, and Google Hangouts are becoming the backbone of DIY professional development in the 21st century's educational ecosystem. For more on Google Hangouts, see Mary Beth Hertz' blog post, How Educators and Schools Can Make the Most of Google Hangouts.
- Social Media Savvy? Four Tips to Help You Get Started, by Lisa Michelle Dabbs (2013)
Dabbs provides a helpful, encouraging guide to developing your social-media savvy.
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Learn to Use Web 2.0 Tools, by Amy Erin Borovoy (2012)
Ready to start exploring some new technology tools to help your students become better creators and collaborators? VideoAmy hunted down the best video tutorials for many popular free Web 2.0 tools.
Building a Professional Learning Network (PLN)
- The Connected Educator: All About Connectedness, by Tom Whitby (2014)
Six educators share the insights, changes, and rewards observed and felt during their journey from unconnectedness to connectedness. Another great Whitby blog post, How Do I Get a PLN?, offers some basic, practical wisdom about what a PLN is and how to get one.
- Adding a Spring to Your Step: 4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues, by Nicholas Provenzano (2014)
Provenzano makes four suggestions for ramping up after the low energy of winter, including more teacher interaction in the building and online.
- Resources from Connected Educator Month, by Ashley Cronin (2013)
Seek out opportunities for informal professional development and building your PLN in this curated guide to websites, events, and other resources from Connected Educator Month.
- 21st-Century PLNs for School Leaders, by George Couros (2012)
School district administrator Couros encourages social media newbies to expand their PLNs for their own professional development, as well as for the benefit of their students.
- Resources for Growing Your Professional Learning Network, by Edutopia Staff (2011)
This excerpt from our Summer Rejuvenation Guide will help you get ideas and tips for creating connections and developing a network.
Additional Resources on the Web
- A comprehensive list of education chats on Twitter by @CybraryMan1
- The Educator's PLN: The Personal Learning Network for Educators
- The Future of Education (Discussion Community)
- How to Transform and Personalize PD Within Your Own District, by Patricia Brown, Edsurge (2015)
- Self-Directed Professional Development for Leaders, by Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers, Education Week (2015)
- 8 Steps To Flipped Teacher Professional Development via TeachThought (2014)
- Do-It-Yourself Professional Development, by Lindsey Fuller, International Literacy Association (2014)
- Social Media Gives Professional Development a Long Tail, by Kristen Swanson, SmartBlog on Education (2014)
- Are Education Conferences Relevant? by Tom Whitby, My Island View (2014)
- What is Your 2014 Summer Learning Plan? by Noah Zeichner, Center for Teaching Quality (2014)
- Teacher Agency: Self-Directed Professional Development, by Jackie Gerstein (2013)
- Why Teachers Need to Start Their Own Professional Development, by Jose Luis Vilson, Center for Teaching Quality (2013)