Part of the Cool Sites series
Photo adapted from Flickr by kevindooley licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.
Summer has officially started for many of you! I know that you will probably be relaxing for the first few days, but eventually you may feel the need to be inspired and motivated for the upcoming school year! Social media provides us with incredible opportunities to choose the way we want to develop professionally. You can choose the topic, the medium, and who you want to learn from. You can choose the way you like to learn, because social media provides us with several multimedia experiences, such as webinars, LMS, live video, and more. The experience is usually dynamic and motivating because you are learning with others around the world! Additionally, you will be developing your Personal/ Passionate Learning Network (PLN).
Professional Development Opportunities to Choose From…
- The 30 Goals Challenge– Over 1500 educators have downloaded this free e-book that challenges you to accomplish 30 social media and professional development goals in 30 days. These are short-term goals, such as guest posting, setting up a Google alert, causing a ripple, and contributing to a blog carnival. Download the free e-book to get you started. Additionally, feel free to contribute to my new weekly series that will be featuring a post from an educator who accomplished one of the goals.
- 31 Days to Become a Better Edtech Leader– With his vast experience, Terry Freedman offers excellent goals to accomplish each day that help you use educational technology effectively. Goals include conducting a SWOT analysis to organizing an inservice! Here’s a handy list of each post and the links.
- The 23 Things Project– Take Steven Anderson’s 10 week course that shows you how to use various web 2.0 tools effectively in the classroom.
- SEETA Courses– The South Eastern Europe Teachers Association offers several week courses with a guest author or expert in the field. You can check past courses or take the upcoming one with Lindsay Clandfield from June 16-20, Coursebooks of the future: Adopt, adapt or abandon? You will have to register, but the courses are free!
- ELT Moodle Web 2.0 Tools course– Andy Chaplin offers several classes to help you become acquainted with using Web 2.0 tools effectively with English language learners. Register for free!
- Moodle Web 2.0 Tools course– An 8 week course to learn more about Web 2.0 tools. Register for free!
- Edufire Free Live Online Classes– Register for free and have access to various topics such as using various web tools or learning a different language. You get a live tutor on a video.
Attend Live Events in Real Time!
You can attend several free conferences, webinars, Twitter chats, and presentations online with your PLN! These usually last one hour, but many conferences also offer free all day live streaming of their keynotes.
- The Educators’ PLN Ning Live Chats with Authors– The Educator’s PLN is a great place to interact and learn from other educators. Join us for free live chats with various authors. In the past we featured Alfie Kohn. Please join us for our live chat with Howard Rheingold on Wednesday, June 16, at 5pm PDT/ 8pm EST.
- Watch Live Streams of the 140 Character Conference– Jeff Pulver has been amazing in getting celebrities, educators, and leaders in various fields to speak passionately about how social media is revolutionizing their fields. If you cannot attend physically, then attend virtually. Jeff live streams the talks! Follow the hashtag, #140Conf for continuous updates.
- Edublogs Live Events– Every week, attend a free webinar on various topics. Usually, Jo and Phil Hart hosts these free webinars that cover effective use of web 2.0 tools or instructional methodologies.
- Classroom 2.0 Live Events– Every week, attend a free webinar with an expert in a field or listen to some great authors speak live and ask them questions.
- Simple K12 webinars– Attend free webinars with experts on various topics.
- Attend Second Life Live Events– Second Life has several educational groups that meet weekly for free conferences, talks, workshops, and more. Download the software and register for free. Consider joining these educational groups:
- #Edchat– Join over 1000 educators every Tuesday to discuss various topics you get to vote for and suggest.
- Education Chats on Twitter– Find out the dates and times of educational conversations that occur on Twitter.
Free Online University Classes:
Ever dream of studying at Stanford or MIT? Well you can attend several free online courses from their universities. Below are useful links to find a free online course at several top universities in any subject!
- MIT Open Course Ware offers over 1900 free online courses in over 20 subjects. You can subscribe by RSS or get e-mail updates.
- Stanford on iTunes– Download courses, faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports that will play on your iPod, iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC.
- 17 Universities with free online courses– Find out how to access these free courses from some of the most respected universities in the world! This article also describes the experience of learning through these online classes.
- 250 Free Online Courses– Find a list of several more free online courses from the top universities categorized by subject.
Learn Through These Blog Series
- Do you want to be part of education reform? Join our discussions at the Coop Catalyst! The various bloggers write thought-provoking articles to inspire you to rethink the way students learn and how you educate them.
- Cool Sites Series– In this weekly series I provide you with useful tips and resources for various online tools and subjects. Browse through the archives or subscribe to keep updated!
- Pick of the ELT Blogosphere- Sue Lyons recommends 10 blog posts to read each week! I love the way she provides Wordles of each post! This is one way to make sure you keep up your blog reading.
- Web 2.0 for Rookies– Terry Freedman’s fantastic series for those new to Web 2.0 terms and tools.
- Stanza App for free e-books on your Iphone or Ipod Touch– This is my favorite app for easy reading of books on my Iphone!
- 45 Places to Get Free E-books!
- Book Crossing– If you love the feel of a real book in your hand then find free used ones in this community. Many people ship the books for free. Pay it forward by shipping some of the books you’ve already read.
- Listen to free audio books– Download over 1000 different audio books to listen to while you travel or do housework.
- Try reading these inspiring education reform books suggested by the Coop Catalyst.
- More summer reading suggestions! Make your own suggestions on Twitter using the hashtag, #sumread10
Find several more professional development opportunities by clicking on the tabs of Mike Fisher’s Live Binder.
Try any of these professional development opportunities and blog about your experience. Blogging helps you reflect and decide how you can apply this learning to improve your instructional methods.
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What are your favorite ways to learn online? Did I miss any other great professional development opportunities?