I saw this video making its way through my Twitter feed over the Christmas Break. It made me smile. It also made me realize the power a single person can have on others.
What are some things that we can do with our students in our hallways, in our classrooms and even in our communities to engage people in this same manner?
Category Archives: Lifelong Learning
I saw this video making its way through my Twitter feed over the Christmas Break. It made me smile. It also made me realize the power a single person can have on others.
Monthly Theme: Excellence
This week I was to focus on how I can model excellence by putting my signature on the work that I do through the small things I do.
I really appreciate Booker T. Washington’s quote made over 160 years ago. This reminds me personally of my parents who model excellence in their daily life. My father, a business owner and German immigrant, showed me that customer service and a flair for building strong relationships was key to his success (he’s semi-retired now). His fervor for making people feel at ease and including them in conversations helped his business excel. (For those of you from Southern Alberta you may have heard of it as Otto’s Spudnut and Ice Cream Shop.) As for my mother, her French Canadian agricultural background and career as a Teacher, allowed her to travel the world and challenge its occupants from time to time with my brother and I tagging along. My mother also became my dad’s business partner so they certainly showed how two people can work and live together harmoniously. My parents continue to have high expectations of us and now their grandkids. Their continued support is important in an age where 24/7 anytime, anywhere access and can be fleeting of support.
This quote also reminded me of a tweet from @shareski sharing a video about “The biological advantage of being awestruck” and then it hit me that there was a book I had wanted to read and not yet done so….The Book of Awesome. This book by Neil Pasricha is on my “read this” list and after reading through my Week Four work, thought I’d better get to it. So, at this moment, I have put both The Book of Awesome and The Book of Even More Awesome on hold at my local library. I’ve even started to follow Neil @1000awesome on Twitter and look forward to reading more of his blog where he initially started his 1000 Awesome Things as a small reminder of the free little joys that make life sweet.
So, I now thought (without reading the book of Awesome) why not think of little ways to put a personal excellence signature on the work that I do? What would it look like? Here are some ideas:
• Share tidbits of information via the weekly employee Online newsletter
• Send out specific emails filled with resources, PD opportunities for administrators, specific groups of teachers
• Tweet and retweet out #psd70 happenings
• Encourage and sign up PSD stakeholders to share their learning on the 184 Blogs project
My focus now is how to change the ordinary things I do into things that I do better or more memorable than ever before. No small feat/task but one I know that I can really on my Learning Services Team, network, PLN, family and friends to support me in.
From text to the internet to a recorded video lecture – these thoughts are what I have recently been exposed to on my journey in learning about the brain.
My colleagues in the Learning Services team and I are currently in the midst of a book study on Jensen’s “Teaching with the Brain in Mind” (2nd ed.). With our work in the school division at the forefront and this book in our hands, we are connecting the current brain research to the learning environment. My team is exploring topics such as how the brain works and how its systems affect learning, motivation, critical thinking skills, environmental factors, socialization, the affective domain and memory. How can we, as educators, parents, aunts and uncles take advantage of the amazing revelations science is providing in regarding to brain research in the last 5 years?
Alongside the theme of this book study, I also recently joined the Learning & the Brain Society which brings neuroscientists and educators to explore new research on the brain and learning and its implications in the classroom environment.
Both of these resources – the book and the society – have really allowed me to engage in new conversations with LS team members, administrators and teachers that I work with on a daily basis. The ability to learn about the newest brain research on how learning has changed due to the technological revolution assists me in supporting the work (projects, initiatives, instructional strategies, pedagogy) surrounding the education of our students.
Move forward to a video lecture that I recently listened to, from this Learning & Brain Society, by Dr. Gary W. Small entitled “iBrain: The Technological Alteration of the Student Mind” in which he states that the brain is amazing in its ability to adapt, within reason, to this new 24/7 environment. Yet, our relationship with technology and specifically our students’ relationship with technology has changed drastically in the last few years. Although the brain is plastic and can learn quickly; it still requires some downtime or different experiences to allow it to grow.
“By adolescence, 60% of synapses are trimmed away/pruned.”
Allowing students to pursue a variety of learning opportunities in and out of the classroom is important. This uses different parts of the brain. With students aged 8-18 spending an average of 11.5 hours engaged in tech use per day (Kaiser, 2010, study), that’s a lot of multi-tasking! (And overuse of certain parts of the brain while other parts are not being used ‘weakens’ the brain.)
Students are used to having technology available 24/7 but then they may have less F2F (face to face) conversations, actively listening and notice non-verbal cues. Therefore, empathy and complex reasoning skills may weaken.
Try this exercise with a partner (or have your students try it):
- Turn to each other and designate one person as the Speaker and the other as the Listener. The Speaker is to talk about any topic for 30 seconds. The Listener is to actively listen to the Speaker and maintain eye contact without interrupting them. (Feel free to have each person switch roles after so they each have an opportunity to role play.) I notice that through my Cognitive Coaching training, I have become better at refining my ‘coaching’ behavior by pausing and paraphrasing instead of reacting and responding without really listening to what the Speaker is sharing.
What the above exercise is trying to accomplish is to have students understand the importance of connecting personally and directly via eye contact and by listening to another person. Identifying facial expressions, using proper social conventions are impossible through texting/emailing. The development of empathetic and complex reasoning skills for K-12 students is important.
Is technology making our students less creative?
Although jumping website to website, using social media and emailing an assignment all at the same time may be the norm, this type of multi-tasking does not develop quality of thought. There is no chance, when this is occurring for students to take time for thoughtful critical thinking, to expand on current and/or novel ideas. Showing K-12 students how to effectively reflect, review, revise, and research using technology is an important process. I know of some teachers that use blogging and/or e-portfolios as a way for students to share their thoughts, demonstrate some of their new learning and reflect on what their classmates are saying. (Some of our teachers are using WordPress in this manner. As well, Rob Van Nood, a Portland, Oregon teacher recently described how his students use Evernote as their e-portfolio.)
A healthy brain diet
During the video lecture, Small gave a few strategies on how to have a healthy brain. Below are a few of his key points:
- Daily physical exercise – 60 minutes per day (Participaction)
- Healthy eating habits – Canada Food Guide
- Mental exercise – knowing specific important phone numbers, quick recall of the multiplication table, ability to add up purchases before heading to the cash register are important life skills that the brain should be able to handle without the aid of a tech device.
- Cognitive training – Look, Snap, Connect. (With LOOK you want to actively observe what you want to learn. SNAP is creating a vivid mental snapshot/memorable image. CONNECT is to visualize a link to associated images.) Guiding students through these three training points will allow their brains to make authentic and memorable connections to the curriculum topic.
Small goes on to note that improving memory and concentration will allow our brain to grow and function effectively. Balance your life between connected to technology and connected to people in-person. In regards to how important focus and developing good attention skills, Small showed us a wonderful YouTube video. This “Whodunnit?” video (think Clue board game) has two parts to it. Watch the first half of it, pause it and then watch the last half.
Pretty neat, eh? Just shows how focusing our complete attention has a huge impact on improving memory and concentration.
“If everyone adopted one regular lifestyle change (one of the four brain diet points above), the prevalence of dementia in the U.S. would decrease by one million cases within five years and 2.5 million cases within 20 years.”
Overall, being aware of the current brain research, balancing the use of tech devices (smartphones, computers, tablets, TV) and continuing to dialogue with education counterparts will make our pruned brains happy and healthy!
So what does infamous Pat Quinn, former NHL and Team Canada Coach, have to say that impacts the professional work and the intent of this blog? It was during my son’s experience at the invitational Hyundai Hockey Nation Tour that I had the opportunity to sit in a dressing room for 25 minutes and listen to a learned man who spoke definitively and directly about his experiences. This “Big Irishman” who stands at 6’3 was only a few feet away from me yet almost a gentle giant of sorts. He instantly captured my attention with his calm tone in his voice. He briefly introduced himself, but most of his pep talk was based on three principles, these principles hold true in hockey, in life and in education, hence why I believe this information belongs in this blog.
As in the title of this blog, Pat’s three shared principles were that our hockey children to actively listen to their hockey coaches, to experience growth in their hockey play via learning new skills and knowledge and finally, to have fun while playing the game. For the role parents play in this sport, he asked us to support these three principles and to apply them in other areas of life, especially education. Yes, Pat Quinn, professional hockey player, former coach and non-practicing lawyer, spoke about the importance of EDUCATION. The importance of children in being mindful and actively engaged in whatever activity, sport and/or event they participate in. To take feedback and practice and therefore gain better skill and knowledge of the game (or a subject area) since children are at different areas of development. And to enjoy the game and/or activity they are partaking in.
While my experience with Pat Quinn was brief, he certainly left a positive impression. (And seeing my son have the opportunity to work with various professional coaches and the dryland conditioning team for the Edmonton Oilers will not be forgotten.)
photo © 2008 jill, jellidonut… whatever | more info (via: Wylio)
For the past many months I have been devouring various articles, blogs, books, speaking with learning coaches and attending a number of workshops dealing with instructional coaching. Alberta Education in its Exploring school-based learning coaches document (2010, November), illustrates the roles, responsibilities of both coaches and administrators as well as an implementation guide and a sample ‘day in the life’ of an instructional coach. Another pertinent document is the Alberta learning coach role description (2010, December). The ATA also released a Discussion paper on learning coaches (2011, March). So, it’s definitely on the minds of Alberta educational institutions. But, let’s break it down for a moment. What are some things we should think about before entering into an instructional coaching career?
Here are some basic tips from my experiences so far:
- Understand how adults learn – Adults learn best when they understand why something is important to learn, do and/or understand. They also like a variety of learning opportunities that are positive and encouraging.
- Be organized – Use low to high tech tools to keep your information, research, notes and ideas all organized and readily available.
- Ask questions – Asking effective and great questions are important when speaking with colleagues. There are several resources listed below that assist coaches in asking the ‘right’ questions.
- Attend PD – You need to continue your professional development so that you can pass on the ‘gems’ too!
- Build in reflection time – Time for your own reflection as well as collegial reflection is important. Some coaches use a journal, others blog, whatever works for you to be able to see the growth in this process.
- Administrator support is key – Being enthusiastic and motivated is great, but having the complete support of the administrative team at the school is key to having the rest of the teachers also buy into this way of working and learning.
- Identify clear roles and responsibilities – What is it really that you do? Try to set up a one-page summary outlining your roles and responsibilities. It’s a good way to promote what you are doing to administrators and teachers and it’s also a good way to target your own P.D. experiences.
- Build relationships – This is number one in my thoughts. Building trust and understanding in this collegial learning relationship is pertinent to furthering the impact on students in that particular class.
After discussions with colleagues and continued reading and reflecting…..I think I like the idea of calling an instructional coach a “Lead Learner”. In my many sports-filled years I have had the opportunity to work with and for many coaches. I see coaches in a different light; shining brightly on the area of being ‘the expert’ more so than being a colleague who is at a level learning platform. So, for me, the “Lead Learner” title resonates more for me.
Check out further resources:
CoachGinsburg on twitter
Cognitive Coaching with John Clarke
Evocative Coaching – Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time
Instructional Coaching – A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction
JimKnight on twitter
Joellen Killion with Learning Forward
Power of Teaching – The Science of the Art: Behavioral Pathways to Excellence in Teaching
Radical Learners blog
The Big Four ning
Unmistakable Impact – A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction
This week, I had the opportunity to attend an Apple educational showcase event. It was titled “Engaging, enhancing and inspiring – Breaking down barriers to learning”. Within the half-day format, I believe that it was indeed engaging, enhancing and inspiring.
Although hosted by Apple, the three presenters were from across Canada and Europe. We were treated to: a school program from Ontario, a post-secondary blind student and a software programmer/company founder.
Twentieth Street School has regular and inclusive special education programming. Sabir, the principal spoke about the school context and about her excitement in receiving an iDevice. Enter, Andre, a former CA, now second year teacher, who took the iPod Touch and some apps (like Proloquo2Go, Google, Weather, Dragon Dictation, Voice Memos.)
Andre’s well planned presentation run from his iPodTouch (gotta get me that app!), showed how he used this device in his inclusive specialized classroom for information and communication. His students would search, use online encyclopedias, local weather, how-to videos. They also worked on expanding their communication with others
through using pics and symbols, creating digital stories, making movies and developing oral fluency. Challenges for
Andre have been ensuring that his students use the
equipment safely and knowing how to effectively and purposefully use the technology without creating any anxiety for a student. Benefits are that the iPod touch is lightweight, apps have been easy to use, all learning styles can be
accommodated, students enjoy the tool since it is at their fingertips (where the active learning happens). Andre had some wonderful student video clips to show how students were using the iPod.
Jessica Rathwell is a creative writing and digital studies student who is blind. She walked up to the front of the room with her seeing eye dog and iPad. She spoke confidently and clearly about how, since June 2009, her whole world has been opened to many opportunities that ‘seeing’ people already have. The date is significant since this is when Apple brought out accessibility settings as part of their iPhone. Now these settings are part of all Apple products. Jessica pointed out features such as voiceover, zoom, contrast switching, monoaudio, Bluetooth Braille, apps like Pages.
I tweeted that: AssistiveWare’s David saying his products r made 4 universal access- ppl ONLY ltd by creativity n talent not by impairment…
Other tweets during the morning and afternoon –
Great vision to push for fuller or more complete access for all instead of pushing a single app – assistiveware from @jonathankonrad
AssistiveWare’s tech is impressive and liberating for all those with impairments. Tech IS the great equalizer! from @MultiMediaGrrl
Proloque2go can be demo-ed at any Apple Store from @MrAaronBall
I am really impressed with assistiveware.com, and the tech solutions they develop for special ed from @danielespejo
The switchX demo was cool. Also would benefit from a doc cam showing the iPad under click control from @jonathankonrad
Below you see the links shared by David via @agauld (Allan, Apple Ed Acct Exec):
Mac products http://bit.ly/AWMac
AssistiveWare Videos http://bit.ly/hRl6iB
AssistiveWare Site www.assistiveware.com
AssistiveWare FAQ http://bit.ly/AWSP
iPad Case http://www.amdi.net/iadapter/
Overall, it is important for school personnel to be exposed to as much information, resources, and successful teaching strategies that are available in this digital era.
What an exciting time for our students!
Further links shared by @agauld:
Special Education Sign LanguageApps
As John Fogerty sings, “I’m ready to play” in my head while Day 2 of the Leading Our Way Forward Conference continues, I remind myself that Day 1 was about change, so here goes Day 2 all about purpose and support.
Joellen Killion, along with John Clarke, spoke about establishing a school site and school division wide instructional/learning coach program. As our school division is beginning the journey to engage in an instructional/learning coach program, (Yes, we’re ready to play!) this day of the conference is an important one. Many questions still are being asked and this day will allow us to answer a few and surely come up with more!
What kind of benefits are found in hosting a coaching program? Some shared group thoughts were:
- the idea of ‘We”; coming together for a common goal
- shared knowledge
- reciprocal learning
- security to take risks
- being able to push people beyond their comfort zones in a safe environment
- trust, positive collaboration
- accessibility of support
- time is planned to observe, review, refine
- build self-confidence
- just in time learning
What are /could be some of the challenges? Our group asked questions moreso than answer the question with:
- How do coaches invite themselves into a school/classroom?
- How do you build those trusting relationships?
1) We liked the discussion about a coach having ‘expertise’ rather than being an exert. Having expertise has a more positive connotation.
3) See teachers as facilitators of information for all students. A collaborative mindset will successfully and effectively move instructional coaching ahead. Joellen spoke of a school which entirely adopted the instructional coaching model for ALL staff. This allowed all teachers to move forward in their pedagogy – great discussions, collective responsibility and success for both students and teachers. In this way, goals can be easily established school-wide (not just for individuals), interaction with instructional coaching is positive from the start and accessibility to administrators and staff is seamless.
Coaching Roles and Responsibilities
There are a number of roles that instructional coaches play. Joellen gave us time to review them and then place a % beside the roles we have in our own professional work. I liked this activity as it gave me time to review the roles, see which ones I truly fit and how much of my time/effort is placed in those particular roles. It would be a good activity for any instructional coach to complete in the Fall and Spring to tie in to their professional growth plan and the work they are doing in school(s). Below you will see an outline of the roles presented as well as my pie chart outlining where I see myself right now. I also will be comparing this chart to a Fall 2011 that I will be completing – I look forward to blogging about its similarities and differences then!
Resource provider – sharing resources (websites, articles, instructional materials, readings, lesson/unit plans, assessment tools, etc.) for teachers and students.
Data coach – leading conversations that engage analysis of student data and use this info to strengthen instruction.
Instructional specialist - implementing effective teaching strategies (such as DI, critical thinking) appropriate for the school/classroom and share findings with colleagues.
Curriculum specialist - understanding content standards, how various components of the curriculum link together and how to use curriculum in planning instruction and assessment.
Classroom supporter - working in a classroom to help teachers implement new ideas by demonstrating a lesson or co-teaching or observing and giving feedback.
Learning facilitator - facilitating professional development opportunities with colleagues.
Mentor – serving as a mentor for novice teachers.
School leader - serving on committee(s), acting as a grade level or department chair,
Catalyst for change - always looking for a better way through continual improvement; posing questions to generate analysis of student learning.
Graph was created from http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/default.aspx.
Where is PSD going?
In my opinion, we need to start with answering three questions:
1) What is the purpose of a coaching program in PSD?
2) What are the goals of this program?
3) What are our plans for monitoring, reviewing and refining the program?
I look forward to the many conversations, reflections, frameworks and relationship building pieces that will come about within our school division over the next year. The research from Alberta Education, ERLC, our speakers from the Leading Our Way Forward conference and the sage advice from our colleagues will guide us to new support in how our school division guides the learning of its personnel and its students. It’s an exciting and challenging time in Education!
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play! (Are you too?)
Change. Although this could represent a post-disco group in the 1980’s, an R&B group in the 1970’s and the word itself has been used in many songs from Black Sabbath to Taylor Swift, it evokes powerful emotions when linked to the realm of education.
Change. It can be purposeful and effective when designed meaningfully to meet our students needs.
Change. Day 1 of the Leading Our Way Forward Conference in Edmonton hosted by ERLC and CASS is highlighting how school divisions and leadership teams can increase capacity via a learning/instructional coaching model. Keynote speakers Bernajean Porter and John Clarke stimulated participants’ thinking through various activities, discussion topics, sharing of research and resources.
Change and technology. Throughout Bernajean’s keynote session, participants interactively engaged in using a number of tech tools. We microblogged using TodaysMeet with specific questions and activities in mind to reflect in this online forum. We completed an online survey using Polleverywhere and we have the opportunity to review her session notes any time at http://erlc.wikispaces.com/BernajeanPorter. By demonstrating the use and purpose of some of these tools, I am hoping leaders will use them often and effectively. In our own school division, I know of several administrators and teachers who are tasking these web 2.0 tools to gather feedback, gain data and inform the learning/assessment process. Popular tools being used are:
1) TitanPad or PrimaryPad are an online collaborative, closed environment where up to 16 participants at one time can share information, no need to register or require an email address. Uses have been to set up staff meeting agendas, work on group poetry projects, complete a critical thinking challenge, or plan a school event.
2) Blogs – the ability to journal, reflect and comment on one’s learning experiences is a great way to showcase growth in understanding for teachers, administrators and students. Kidblogs, edublogs, blogger and wordpress are a few of the online programs being used in PSD.
3) Polleverywhere has been used for a couple of years. Our high schools were so impressed with its ease of use, ability to embed in powerpoints and instantaneous feedback that they each bought a premium license that tracks the feedback.
4) Twitter is the five year old application where 140 characters and abbreviations don’t stop the deep conversations, sharing of information, varying distant yet important relationships and 24/7 connectedness to the learning environment. Daily, our #psd70 staff are understanding the power of a Professional Learning Network. This conference is entertaining its own hashtag of #lowf which allows participants to share gems from both Bernajean, the fireside chat group and John Clarke, but it also allows the outside world to lurk and participate as well.
Change and collaboration. In collaborative cultures we all work together so that the effort and moving forward is a group thing. It is pertinent that we understand how to work together as adults and our students need these skills as well to be successful learners and citizens. To further build on Bernajean’s discussion about the difference between a cooperative or a collaborative team, Garfield Gini-Newman from TC2 has an archived webinar from November 2010: Focus on Critical Inquiry – Collaborative Inquiry. For those schools/divisions involved with the Critical Thinking Consortium it’s one video highly recommended by fellow Curriculum Facilitator, Diane Lander. As well, the activity of answering either “What do we see, hear, feel in collaborative classrooms?” or “What do we not see, hear, feel in collaborative classrooms” was eventful; check out one of our tables’ posters:
Change and strengths. Bernajean spoke about being positive and intentional when in a collaborative mode. Forget the icebreakers, build relationships, work to have the sharing environment safe and authentic. A couple of book suggestions during this topic were: Take this Job and Love It and Verbal Judo.
Change and analysis. By using a force-field analysis, groups can look at what their “it” is that is being focused on and see where it is supporting and limiting to the work being done in the school division.
Change and reflection. Implementing a reflective, collaborative culture for professional development has been shown to be effective in making gains in student achievement. Bernajean summarized November 2010’s Leading and Learning magazine edition which concentrated on Creating a Culture of Collaboration. The fireside chat with a group of superintendents also shared specific ways that they dealt with changing their school division’s culture for the betterment of all stakeholders.
Change of presenter. After lunch, we were treated to John Clarke’s playful and in-tune original, yet poignant songs. He had use conversing and moving about the conference floor in the Give One Get One activity. This was definitely raising the comfort level through intentional meeting and discussion, showcasing that we all have value in our thoughts and reflections. In order for school divisions to effectively respond the accountability and quality learning foci, two goals need to be addressed:
1) Professional development for all teaching staff.
2) Development of the school division’s capacity to learn and be adaptive.
Change and cognitive coaching. A way of thinking in using a set of strategies to work individually and in groups to problem solve and shape thoughts. In PSD we have a few colleagues who previously have worked with John and attended his Cognitive Coaching seminars. They all speak highly of the process that is based on four propositions:
1) Thought and perception produce all behavior.
2) Teaching is constant decision-making.
3) To learn something new requires engagement and alteration in thought.
4) Humans continue to grow cognitively.
We look forward to further cognitive coaching training in our division with John’s assistance and guidance!
Change and adaptation. To be adaptive means to change form and clarify identity. New challenges in education require new and increasingly flexible forms for school divisions. And the ways in which we define the meaning of our schools and schooling shape the identity of our school division in which we work and the identity of the individual people within our schools. With the First Word, Last Word activity, John had tables read through Karen Seashore Louis’ work on the five attributes of collaborative cultures that improve learning for all students. The five attributes are:
1) Shared norms and values.
2) Collective focus on student learning.
4) Deprivatized practice.
5) Reflective dialogue.
The activity had table participants take time to comment on specific expressions picked out by members. A good activity to activate authentic listening and safe sharing.
Change and community. In reviewing our needs as a school division, some guiding questions can point us in the right direction:
1) Who are we? (what values do we have in this learning culture)
2) Why are we doing this? (should we be doing what we are doing)
3) Why are we doing this – this way? (are there better ways of doing this and what are they)
Change and norms of collaboration. We are either working from a dialogue or a discussion standpoint. It is important to note that sometimes dialogue outweighs discussion or vice versa. In looking at the outcomes of these two processes, dialogue is for understanding and discussion is for making a decision. The seven norms of collaboration are:
3. putting inquiry at the centre
4. probing for specificity
5. placing ideas on the table “here’s a thought we may want to consider”, “here’s a hunch, something going through my brain”
6. paying attention to self and others
7. presuming positive intentions
Change and its origin. The word change comes form the Middle English cha ( u ) ngen < Anglo-French, Old French changer < Late Latin cambiāre, Latin cambīre to exchange via http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/change. The word is 835 years old, has 38 different dictionary meanings and is an important part of the learning process, educational reform and instructional evolution we are facing in 2011. How collaboratively our schools, school divisions and leadership take on this change process will result in continuing the movement towards a flexible learning culture that is ready, poised and authentic in its mission, vision and attitudes.
Go ahead, be the change that you want to see in your school, in your school division, in your community, in society. Why not?
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!