Time, time, time. That is the word that comes up most often when talking about how to bring more technology professional development to teachers. During the school year, teachers just don’t have enough time to learn about new technology, get comfortable with it, and figure out if it fits into their curriculum. And we, as schools, are not good about making enough time for it. Educators therefore have to make their own time and fit in their learning where they can.
The K12 Online Conference is a nice way to get professional development when and where you want it. I just loaded up my iPhone with 10 podcasts downloaded from the K12 Online site on iTunesU. The K12 Online Conference is a collection of podcasts given by educators and, this year, students from around the world. Each podcast is a presentation on teaching and tools and how they help improve learning. This year’s conference, that went live during the last two weeks of October, had two themes – “Leading the Change” and, for the second week, “Kicking it up a Notch”. Among the podcast presenters are well known names like Dean Shareski, David Warlick, and Darren Kuropotwa as well as students like Ben & Ben from Yarmouth High School who talk about their own podcast show, and middle school student, Nicolas Gutkowski, who talks about “Learning on my Own”.
No matter what level or subject you teach, you can find a podcast that will fit your needs at the K12 Online Conference. I have just started to listen to these presentations and there are many good ones to choose from. I enjoy that I can access them when I am at work or as I make my commute home. This is just one way that you can make professional development fit into your busy life. Check out the offerings from the K12 Online Conference; they are most easily accessible on the Schedule page or from iTunesU.