The next category, which we would like to believe valuable is Professional Development (PD). As educators, we understand the importance of lifelong learning or the leap from “what we are to what we want to be“. Although we believe in the enduring concept of learning, we also realize that we have limited time. We know that high quality PD typically is associated with significant time, effort and at times, a cost. There are many applications, which can support PD and provide a low threshold continuous opportunity for “just in time” learning. One source of PD is one that we share on our last post, Twitter. While a Twitter micro-blog acts as a way of communicating, it has also gained the attention of many educators around the world, who share their thoughts, resources and ideas that work for them in the classroom. An advantage of Twitter is that a teacher can choose who to follow and therefore customize the type of PD, which they would like to receive. They can also add and delete who they follow, as their expertise in the area increases.
Another good source for PD is Google+ (G+). Similar to blogging, G+ offers an easy method to post and share information, as well as receive and follows those whose work aligns with your needs. In addition, G+ offers a mechanism to meet with colleagues around the world in Hangouts and video chats.
Finally, many educators have found the power in watching free, open source educational videos on YouTube and Khan Academy. There is an abundance of videos available with the ability to search on keywords. Educators can also follow colleagues on YouTube and even create a YouTube channel themselves for sharing of good PD ideas.