Closing schools was necessary. For most educators, it didn’t come as a surprise, but it didn’t hurt any less. Educators, in addition to helping guide students through this global crisis, are also left to their own devices for professional development, which has fallen off of the priority list for most school districts.
So, how do educators still continue to learn? What does Remote PD look like with most educators at home or what will it look like in the future? Check out some of these options:
Virtual Conferences. Many options have popped up with most educators confined to their devices and homes. Many free online conferences are great choices, while some paid options deliver powerful PD. Find a conference that delivers exactly what you are looking for, and wear your comfy pants.
Virtual Book Clubs. I’ve seen a lot of educators picking up books and taking advantage of extra time at home. Find a few ROGUE friends, and pick a book to spark your creative fire (Creative Trespassing by Tania Karan or Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon) or pick up a book just for fun or get your mind off of all of the heavy stuff going on, even if just for a few minutes.
#RemoteCoffeeEDU. Several times throughout the year, a group of passionate educators in my local area gather together on Sunday morning bright and early at 8am (sometimes 9am depending on who’s organizing!) to chat and converse about education. It’s great to see everyone, pick up a cup of coffee and share in the powerful advice, strategies, and discussions that occur without a preset plan or agenda. Hopefully, some day, we will be able to do this again. Until then, let’s take the conversations online. We recently held our first #RemoteCoffeeEdu online as many jumped in to share their thoughts on the new learning process associated with remote learning. Other educators have taken to Zoom to share the connection and conversations in a virtual world. And every educator who participates is better off for it.
A PD Challenge. Motivation can be hard when the lines of work and home are blurred. Days drag into weekends. You don’t know what day it is. It can be hard to find the incentive to delve into PD. This is where a PD Challenge can help. Driven by Teacher Voice and Choice, a PD Challenge can help you gamify the Professional Learning experience for yourself and colleagues. Teachers and colleagues can choose PD activities that meet their needs and are relevant to what they want to learn. Incentives can be added to provide a little motivation. Challenge colleagues at your school, or involve another school, and add a competitive flair! Find a template here to create your own PD Challenge!
Digital Appy Hour. Teachers have learned more in the past few months about what works online and what doesn’t work. New tools and resources have been utilized, but now more than ever, we need to share them. Find a group of willing learners, connect online and share the latest Tech tools, web resources, or helpful apps. Add everything to a Padlet for easy sharing! For more info about how one educator implemented Virtual Appy Hour, click here.