Tag: e-learning

The Educator’s Companion to Professional Development

The Educator’s Companion to Professional Development

Anyone who knows me realizes that I am ridiculously committed to my craft and am always looking at how I can improve teaching and learning. For the last year, I’ve been hemming and hawing about doing a podcast, partly as a challenge since it gets me to step out of my comfort zone and partly for a fun exploration experience so  I can bring this media format into classroom learning. It took me ages to come up with a topic, learn the basic skills, record and launch it. I didn’t want it to be some meaningless content that was clogging up the internet. I wanted it to be useful for fellow educators. As someone who easily spends $200 USD a month on professional development, I began looking for free and inexpensive ways to increase my professional learning. The resources and insights I have gained in my quest to uplevel my practice is the basis of the podcast.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the Educator’s Companion to PD podcast! Its whole purpose is to provide ideas for personalizing your professional development so that you can master the concepts and skills that can make the impact that you want to make in your school communities.  The resources are free and my commentary is my own. I have 5 episodes recorded and ready for your ears with much more on the way.

To help facilitate personalized professional development, I made an infographic to help people through the process. I am hoping that this will get people to consider how they might structure and begin a learning journey in pursuit of updating and expanding their skills.  I have nearly completed the ebook that expands upon personalizing your professional development but for now, consider this little cheat sheet a taste of what to come.

 

 

Your Cheat Sheet to Personalized Professional Learning. (2)

Also, I have created a guestbook for you to share your favorite professional learning resources. It’s incredibly helpful for fellow educators to learn more about these fantastic opportunities and it lifts up the whole profession when you do so. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience!

Share a tip: What's one free professional learning resource that has impacted your teaching and learning?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Teaching Patterns

Teaching Patterns

I love teaching patterns, particularly in the beginning of the year so we can keep referencing them throughout the year. However, this year, my programme of inquiry had patterns being taught last with my homes unit (Where we are in place and time: People make their homes in different places and in different ways). Since I do a balance of integrated math and stand alone, the student really enjoyed going on pattern hunts as we looked at different homes, along with discussing and creating brick patterns. I thought I was doing a pretty good job when one of my 4 year olds turns to me and says, “You know Ms. Judy, we learned patterns last year in EY3 and we are pretty good at it. I think we should learn something else.” Krikey! Out of the mouths of babes, I was properly told off. So I reflected on what we were doing and decided to add symmetry into the mix.

After the topic was introduced, out came the mirrors and rulers, and the children began exploring how to create mirror image patterns: symmetry. They were absolutely captivated. Although I don’t have any pictures of the early explorations (I was too busy helping them hold mirrors) , I would like to share some of the later activities.

In the first set of pictures, we clamored upon the playground, drawing lines of symmetry with some chalk, and then the children worked as partners, taking turns making patterns with various manipulatives, which the other had to copy. They did a great job, and even helped to create the PicCollages that you see.  Later on, we worked with the app, Geoboard, by The Math Learning Center, to create symmetrical patterns. Again they did fantastic job, and worked very cooperatively, much to my chagrin. At last, we just got plain silly and used the app Photobooth by Apple to create symmetrical pictures using the “mirror”. Some of the kids took those images and recorded ideas and stories using the app Fotobable. It was a wonderful way for them to extend their idea of patterns, and they did such a wonderful job working together to collaborate on the images.

Teacher 3.0

Teacher 3.0

Teacher 3.0–keeping our practice current and relevant.

You know the difference between something alive and something dead?–Something alive is growing, while something dead is NOT!  With that in mind, it’s really important to continue to develop our understanding of how our student’s learn best and update our teaching practice. For many of us, we need to take a certain number of training courses or attend conferences in order to stay abreast of what is happening and maintain our credentials. But the good news is that nowadays we don’t have to go to bricks and mortar schools or centers in order to learn something new. There are a lot of great online professional development available right in the comfort of your home.

Here is a smattering of some high quality resources and many of them offer certificated courses. Some are for a fee, but most are completely FREE.

Teachers First

What a great resource this is!  Not only does it have frequent professional development that is FREE, if you attend a live online event, you can get a certificate for it. Lovely, isn’t it! Also, it has a ton of lesson plans and activities that are designed for 21st century learning.  Just can’t beat this one!

Intel Teach Elements

I have taken Intel’s professional development and it was easy to implement in my intermediate grade’s classroom. The topics are very much geared toward blending technology in the classroom and is a terrific resource that is absolutely FREE. (Gosh, I just love that word). The e-learning material generally take more than sitting to complete and you might want to have some of your fellow grade-level/subject team members join you–The content’s that fabulous!

Arizona State University’s Learning Forever!

I have taken very low cost courses through ASU for my teaching license, but they  constantly have FREE webinars on topics such as the Common Core and Gifted Education. It doesn’t cost you a thing to join, which makes this very economical.

Other Colleges and Universities with Free Online Courses

I can’t speak directly for these all of these courses but there is an amazing number of colleges and universities that are offering FREE e-learning courses. From MIT to Stanford, the list of reputable universities is substantial, and it covers many topics outside of just education. Many of them will even offer college credit for participating. Very cool, indeed!

SEETA

You have to register (free) in order to attend a web course, but it’s great because the guest presenters are experts and have a range of topics that are offered weekly. Even though this website is from the “South Eastern European Teachers”, the topics are relevant no matter where you teach. It’s great to get a global perspective on best practices, and you are sure to learn something.

Association for School Curriculum and Development 

If you don’t have a membership to this, then sign up today. I can’t recommend this enough. It is covers all sorts of topics about American policy and practice, and reports on the latest research. It’s an invaluable resource. As a member, you have numerous free webinars that you can enjoy, and they also offer more substantial online professional development.

Edublogger

Most educators are interested in blogging, so this link is simply for a very cool how to on using blogs for personal use and in your classroom.

Electronic Open Village

This is a yearly event offered through TESOL CALL-IS. They (TESOL) have in-person conferences in America, which focus on Teaching English as a Second Language, but the Electronic Open Village (EVO) has a “Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section, which exists to define issues and standards in the field of computer-mediated language instruction, promote research and development in the area of computer-based language learning and disseminate information about CALL to ESL/EFL educators worldwide.” What does that mean for you?–some really cool and FREE e-learning that is focused on helping our English Language Learners. Who doesn’t need more help in this area?  And the best part is that it is geared toward obtaining more technology skills as educators. Yep, check another box. It’s pretty terrific!

Please let me know if you found any of these resources useful for you. Also, feel free to add some other quality lo professional development that you know of–we are all here to learn!

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Judy Imamudeen

Judy Imamudeen

Developing learners as leaders is my joy! As a highly qualified International Baccaluearate (IB) teacher and educational leader, I am committed and passionate about executing its framework and empowering students in creating a future world that works for everyone.

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