Professional Development is an interesting concept in today's evolving world. We talk about learning being personalised, relevant and authentic for our learners, yet as teachers, do we offer the same to one another?
We are lucky in NZ with our inherent innovative culture. Educators are keen to connect and collaborate in a variety places. Here is a guide to some key places to find NZ educators and some great PD opportunities.
New Zealand Educational "Twits" to follow.
GEG NZ: these are Google Educators Groups and NZ now has a chapter. This is a great place to start to start following people.
Google Teachers Academy
This has been the most inspirational and innovative professional development opportunity I have been privileged to be part of. The Google Teachers Academy is the only way to become a Google Certified Teacher and is always held at an official Google Office. For us down under, the closest GTA is in the Sydney office. Read about the experience here. The two day event was amazing, however the connections that were formed and the community of international learners have been the real highlight. If you are interested, there is another Sydney Google Teachers Academy in September...apply, apply, apply!
Automate your PLN
I don't have enough time for that...how many times have you heard that. Here are some hints and tips for automating your PLN. Work smarter not harder!
Gmail: Email notifications can often clutter up you inbox. Using labels (which organise messages into categories) and filters (set rules for incoming messages), you can check these notifications when you are ready. For example, with the VLN discussion posts, I like them being emailed so the information comes to me. However, I don't necessarily want to read them when they first come in. So I create a label and a filter so they skip my inbox and go straight to a folder called VLN.
Chrome Apps and Extensions
If you are not using Chrome as your default browser, it's time to get onboard! Explore the Chrome Web Store for apps and extensions that will super size your web experience.
Buffer: great way to share content on social media, you can also analyse the content you are posting to see how many people it is reaching. Use the Buffer extension straight from your browser to send content to Buffer.
Tweetdeck: track real-time conversations across multiple social media platforms. This is a great way to follow a hashtag conversations (e.g. #edchatnz) on Twitter.
SocialBro: manage and analyse your twitter community. Analytics reports, list management, follow/unfollow tracking, followers search engine and more.