At JedCamp South Florida last weekend someone asked me how I learned about all these tech tools I was sharing in my session. It is a question I hear often. The answer is fairly simple…I read and watch and listen. I read edtech articles, I follow edtech chats on twitter, I attend conferences (like FETC, ISTE, and others), and I attend webinars.
One of the best sources for webinars that I have found is www.Edweb.net. This is a free professional learning community that invites experts in the field to share their ideas with others. While the live webinar may not work time-wise for everyone, you can always watch the recorded version. If you need professional development credit hours, you can get certificates through the webinars, as well.
Webinars are offered most days, for example here is this week’s schedule
Events on December 15, 2014
Top 5 Digital Tools of 2014
Events on December 16, 2014
Journeys in Blended Learning: Key Landmarks for Your School’s Progress
Character Education in a Digital World
Encouraging Student Collaboration Using TodaysMeet and Lino
Events on December 17, 2014
Going Digital: Do’s, Don’ts and Pro-Tips
Hands on Learning: The Power of Interactive Learning in the Library
Events on December 18, 2014
Bringing the Classroom to Life with Green Screen Technology
Here it a snippet from edweb
edWeb.net is a highly-acclaimed professional social and learning network that has become a vibrant online community for exceptional educators, decision-makers, and influencers who are on the leading edge of innovation in education.
edWeb members are teachers, faculty, administrators, and librarians at K12 and post-secondary institutions. edWeb is a place where educators who are looking for ways to improve teaching and learning can gather and share information and ideas with peers and thought leaders in the industry.
Any educator can use edWeb for free to create a personal learning network or professional learning community to make it easier to collaborate, share ideas, and move forward faster with new ideas and initiatives, particularly those than leverage technology to accelerate improvement.
Schools, districts, associations, non-profits, and education companies are using edWeb for online collaboration, and spreading the word about our easy yet robust platform. edWeb has 75,000 members who have created over 800 online communities.
edWeb.net hosts professional learning communities (PLCs) that offer free webinars and CE certificates. Join one of our online communities to get advice from experts, exchange ideas and resources with peers, ask questions/get answers, and discover ways to improve teaching and learning.
Another popular online learning community is http://www.simplek12.com/.
The Teacher Learning Community is a membership available for teachers just like you who know integrating the latest educational tips and techniques in the classroom will engage their students and increase academic achievement. When you join, you’ll get immediate access to a global network of educators with whom you can share and collaborate, live and recorded webinars with education leaders, a resource center for sharing classroom documents, as well as a collection of over 500 hours of classroom technology how-to videos available anytime anywhere. It’s all the help and support you’ll ever need from your very own personal learning network (PLN)! ~ From the SimpleK12 website
SimpleK12 has a ton of webinars and classes to offer, but unlike edweb.net, Simplek12 is a paid community. There are a few things for free on the site that you may find useful, so please check it out! I got a free membership as a prize last year and I did a few things on the site, but while the info was great I did not use the site much.
Education Week offers webinars on occasion as well. Find out their schedule by clicking here.
ISTE is another source for information on technology integration. I took one of their courses last year and learned a great deal about theories and beliefs concerning technology. Their members can access webinars and publications geared toward educators. I attended their conference in the summer of 2014 and came away with a brain full of amazing ideas.
FETC is my favorite tech conference. It occurs every January in Orlando and gives me a boost at the midyear mark to reignite my excitement and passion for educating students and teachers. FETC has a hashtag on Twitter you can follow all year long to learn and connect (#fetc). I invented a new hashtag #learneditatfect for the cool things I am using that I attribute to my time at the conference. They also do a virtual conference once a year to share ideas.
Edmodo has a summer virtual academy that I attend each year. Teachers from around the world share their best practices with Edmodo. This year 3 teachers in my school “attended” and came away with great ideas!
The information is out there ready for you to take it, will you? I abhor when students sit passively and except me to spoon feed them…so why as educators do we do the same. Seek out a professional learning community on Twitter, locate webinars on your area of interest, attend conferences, join professional organizations…
GO FORTH AND LEARN!
Have other ways to learn about tech tools? Share it in the comments below!