Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Social PD

Well, my conference duties are over and still no podcast. It really is from lack of effort. I have been rather lazy about a lot of things since the conference, but I am starting to get caught up. A long day on Friday and then I should be in the clear for a week or so. One thing has struck me this past week though and strangely enough I have heard others talk about it or write about it this week. That thing is the concept of podcasts and blog entries as professional development. I follow about 30 educational blogs at this time and subscribe to about 8 "educational" podcasts. I subscribe to a variety of other podcasts as well. I check my reader several times a day. I check for new podcasts to download every hour or so. What I am getting from this is my own personal professional development. I have several instructors like, Wesley , David , Bob , Will , Miguel , Tim , Steve , and several others. What I learn about is diverse. Sometimes I am learning about new tools, sometimes about new ideas or pedagogies. Sometimes I really agree with what is being said and sometimes I don't. If I disagree with one of the instructors long enough, I drop him from my reader or podcast subscriptions and find another. The biggest thing to me is that I am choosing what I am learning. I control the pacing of the instruction, the time of the intstruction, and the place where I receive the instruction. Isn't this what professional development should be for all (I know, don't generalize, or overstate) teachers. I wonder what would happen if we could supply teachers with media players and teach them how to find the content in various media forms. Would they find their own ground and use the tools to continue their learning. Teachers have so little time, but most are driving, walking, riding for a various amount of time each day. I do a lot of driving in my current position, and instead of listening to the same sports story over and over I now spend the time learning really cool things. When I have a few minutes spend on the computer I don't have to go looking for new information about my interests, the information is there waiting for me. The tools are there I feel a more urgent need every day to share them with educators I come in contact with. Why shouldn't they have the opportunity to find their own professional development.

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