C’mon, don’t be shy…you have that laptop all up and running smoothly, you’d like to find some good professional development online, but where to start? Let me ask you to consider WEBINARS as a way to get in some great PD!
A webinar is an online presentation where a presenter shows slides, websites and online resources through a web-based application like Elluminate, GoToMeeting, Bridgit, etc. Participants can interact with the presenter and with each other through chat, microphone, telephone and even video depending on the webinar set-up.
Webinars are a great way for teachers to attend to specific PD opportunities or even specific student learning needs. You can attend webinars live and in archived fashion. I find that not only is the webinar a great learning experience but the chat area is always chalked full of participant ideas, resources and experiences.
There are many educational organizations that offer webinars. I am focusing on TWO today:
In Alberta, there are seven educational consortiums that work with school divisions to facilitate F2F, online VC and webinar PD sessions. Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium is one such organization that I am very thankful to associate with.
They host a variety of assessment to technology integration webinars throughout the year. Many of these webinars are archived – see HERE.
One such set of webinars that I am really excited about are the Making a Difference series. The Making a Difference: Meeting Diverse Learning Needs with Differentiated Instruction is an Alberta Education publication that works through an intro to DI to developing learning profiles to assessment and even leveraging technology in the classroom. It’s a comprehensive guide for administrators and teachers trying to understand how to effectively implement Differentiated Instruction in the classroom. From this publication, ERLC hosted several webinars and from these webinars, Conversation Guides were created. Check out the great resources for Making a Difference HERE. (I am excited to say that I was part of the trio that designed these guides.)
Within the archived webinars area, you will also see on the left hand side a “filter by focus” section. Please use this to further target a specific area of interest. Archived webinars are free and live webinars are reasonably priced.
2) SCHOOLS MOVING UP
In my role as Educational Technology Facilitator, I associate with a variety of educational organizations. I receive offers, RSS feeds, emails from a number of organizations on a daily basis. One such organization that I am impressed with is the SchoolsMoving Up group. They also offer a variety of webinars, resources and links.
SchoolsMovingUp offers live and archived webinars on key curricular concepts, RTI, Differentiated Instruction, etc. Check out their upcoming and archived webinars HERE. Whether it’s a live or archived webinar, the cost is free. They even offer Tips for Viewing Archived Webinars.
Overall, webinars offer another PD opportunity to enhance, engage and empower administrators and teachers in the important work with students. Whether you participate in LIVE webinars or in your PJ’s with ARCHIVED webinars, being able to effectively target your own PD needs using a webinar format is a good thing!
If you have any other educational organizations in mind that offer exciting webinars, please add them to the comment area below!