....but taking the time, travelling, finding relevant and helpful sessions.... it's not always that easy.
If only you could do it from home....
Oh! You CAN!
Have you ever participated in a webinar? A webinar is a seminar that is conducted via the Internet. I had the great honor of being able not only to participate in one, but to teach part of it, as well!
The session I co-presented with my colleague Sigalit Arditi, was about why teachers should be on twitter. I also ran a twitter backchannel for the Webinar (which can still be seen by searching for the hashtag #e_kenes on twitter). A back channel is a twitter feed which houses comments, questions, insights and discussions about the sessions going on, as they are going on (sort of like passing notes during a lecture - but not considered rude ;-) .
The webinar was one of the first I am aware of for teachers in Israel, conducted in Hebrew. The instructors were lead counselors for digital pedagogy in the Israeli Ministry of Education. It was deftly hosted by CET (Center for Educational Technology) and had multiple parallel sessions, organized according to topics including social networking, interactive lessons using Web2 Tools, tools for presenting information, digital assessment and even more!
If you missed this webinar, you can go into webinar site and watch recordings of some of the sessions. Ours is here.
You can find out more about free webinars on different educational topics in English here.
Another free option for learning online, is participating in tweetchats, which are learning opportunities that take place completely on twitter - a superb tool for professional enrichment AND push you to hit the ground running with twitter, improving proficiency and self-confidence in tweeting! You can find tweetchats on different education-related topics literally round the clock. The REALLY cool part of it is that you can find the discussions, long after they're over, by searching for the hashtag used. If there was a tweetchat that you wanted to attend but couldn't, you never need to miss a thing! One of my favorite hashtags is # but there are lots out there... seek # and ye shall find.
Just so I do not sign off before shamelessly plugging twitter as a PLN again, check out the Education Chat Calendar and Top Twitter Hashtags for Teachers . Finally, you do NOT want to miss Teach Thought. No excuses not to enrich yourself any more.
Sigalit and I are continuing the discussion we began at the webinar, by tweeting ideas and resources for utilizing twitter as a PLN as well as a tool in the classroom tagged #IsraEd. Follow us at @sigardit and @AdeleRaemer. Look up #IsraEd and join us in the conversation!