“Hanging Out” for P.D.

16 Oct

Professional development is an extremely important piece of a teacher’s growth throughout their career. It’s where teachers become the students, they become collaborators, they become engaged in the initiatives and resources that surround the 21st century learning environment. Nowadays, teachers are able to access P.D. in a variety of formats – from face to face to virtual via synchronous and asynchronous means. While the opportunities for professional learning are abundant, it is important that teachers take time to plan out their annual professional growth plan carefully so that they are not overwhelmed. In past posts I have extolled the virtues of online PD (Webinars, March 2011) and (Ultimate Video Resources for your Classroom, June 2010). Yet, with our school division working towards a Google Apps for Education environment, I haven’t really shared some PD ideas regarding Google until now.

With one of our schools piloting Chromebooks in a 1:1 environment at two different grade levels, I had the opportunity and time this morning to check out Richland’s School District’s work on this very same topic. I did watch the archived version, however, had I been aware of it’s meeting time I could have joined the live Google Hangout session! This topic and the idea of having a Google Hangout PD session thrilled me. What a great way to have a number of teachers sharing while not necessarily being in the same locale! Although this particular PD session is almost an hour long it is worthwhile if you are going down the Google Apps road.

Besides the demographic information, this group shared the following resources:

  • Google +  – (If you are new to Google+, check out WikiHow’s 8 Steps.)
  • PowToon – an animated presentation tool.
  • Socrative – online student response system.
  • WeVideo – collaborative online video editing suite that uses GDrive and is also a Chrome extension.
  • Research sidebar in GDocs – find information and add content directly into your Google Document.
  • Google Docs chart from spreadsheet – basic tutorial, use charts in GDocs
  • Quizlet – study cards. It is also found inside the Edmodo environment. Using Quizlet in GApps for Edu.
  • Type-Fu – great typing tutor Chrome extension for those students who still need to work on speed and accuracy.
  • Multiple Choice Scoring
  • Diigo – social bookmarking, highlighter, online sticky notes, research tool. This is a chrome extension.

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