Since immersing myself in the Twitterverse I’ve developed an educational voice and have been exposed to a wide array of Virtual Professional Development (VPD) opportunities. If the right professional development opportunities are not offered at the right time in your school district, then the following post will be of significant importance to your development as an educator. What I like most about Virtual Professional Development (VPD) is the freedom to choose exactly what I’d like to learn about.
VPD’s come in a variety of forms including email distribution, webinar’s (web conference usually one way conversation, from speaker to audience), and webcast’s (webcast’s allow for collaborative participation through interactive video, audio, and chat. Communication is often two-way)
Literally there are VPD’s happening every night of the week somewhere in North America, covering a variety of topics from “Setting Up A Classroom Blog”, “A Fresh Look at Teaching The Diary of Anne Frank,” to “Learning How To Use The Latest Web2.0 Tools.” I’d like to share a couple of recurring VPD’s I attend regularly with you today in the hope you’ll take the time to check them out and finally work professional development around your schedule instead of scheduling your life around professional development:
1. #edchat on Twitter – occurs every Tuesday at 9am and 4pm (PST) Topics include; improving student engagement, creating a culture of learning in the classroom, and best practices around assessment. More information about #edchat can be found at the #edchat wiki
2. Classroom 2.0 Ning offers VPD on Saturday morning sessions as well as the occasional work-week session. Topics include, author webinar’s, preparing effective online learners, and Earthcast 2010.
3. The Future of Education Ning offers VPD mainly on Wednesday’s starting at 5pm (PST). View calendar here Topics include, Think Global School, Networks, Communities, and Role of Facilitator, and Neuroscience of Learning.
4. EdTechTalk is a collaborative open webcasting community. Webcasts primarily take place on Tuesday through Friday and Sunday’s at 4pm (PST) Topics include, 21st Century Learning, Teachers Teaching Teachers, and Instructional Design. View calendar here.
5. Learn Central is also a popular provider of VPD for educators. Register for a free account and start to connect with other educators.
An extensive calendar of VPD events can be viewed here: Events
For those who use Google calendar, all these events are easier imported into your existing calendar with once click. It makes the job of keeping track of upcoming events easier and also you to share the information with others in your personal learning network (PLN).