An open world of learning may at times appear intimidating. There is so much on offer for professional development today, that making the right choice may feel daunting. Does one wait for the institution where one's works to introduce the professional training or does one venture out, on one's own to see what can be learnt?
Nik Peachey recently wrote about the 11 Reasons why teachers don't use technology. And as always, Nik is clear, precise and to the point. However, despite there being constraints and barriers to why teachers don't use educational technology, there aren't so many justifications as to why teachers wait for professional development to come to them.
There is an abundance of MOOCs, educational blogs and resources which only require a click to access. There is an abundance of webinars and online conferences - on a wide range of topics and many free to educators.
There are also educational institutions which offer courses tailored to specific contexts, such as TAMK, who design professional training programmes to best fit their global partners and participants' needs and interests. Among other shifts in education, life-long learning - something educators should be instilling in their students - is first practised by educators themselves.
Here are some suggestions of learning for Spring 2016:
TCC 2016 Online Conference - E-Learning: The More We Get Together April 19-21, 2016
More specifically for ELT/ESL professionals:
The British Council's Magazine is a rich resource of ideas and inspiration, with regular features of change and how-to-lesson ideas to professional development.
With his enthusiastic and clear training videos, Russell Stannard shares the hows and whys of using a wide range of digital tools.
Two excellent educators to follow regularly for inspiration and learning are Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D. (User Generated Education) and Inge Ignatia de Waard ( @Ignatia Webs) . Both write on current changes in education, with thought provoking and inspiring reflections of learning.
Stephen Downes is currently running a MOOC on Personal and Personalized Learning, while is EMMA is offering a great variation of open learning for educators.
With the educational changes happening today, it is the educator's choice to either wait until professional development is offered at their working place, or to go out, explore the open world of education and choose the learning that best suits them.
What suggestions of professional development can you add for this Spring?
Personal and Personalized Learning
Ten Steps to Building a Learning Culture
Jisc Guides to Digital Education and Learning
The death of the digital native: four provocations from Digifest speaker
CHALLENGING OUR PEDAGOGY