Summer: A Time For Learning

I look forward to the summer – not as a time to get away from all things education related but as a time to regroup and to take some time for my own learning. I hope to help my students become life long learners and what better way to do that but to model a passion for learning myself. Our school has no budget for travel to the many wonderful conferences that are happening all over the country during the summer and sadly, I personally have no budget for this either. I didn’t let a little thing like money stop me, I put together a plan for myself to attend and participate virtually in conferences, classes and whatever else I could find this summer. Here’s what I’ve done or what I am doing or what I plan to do:

  • ISTE 2010 Unplugged & ISTE 2010 Live & Recorded Sessions
    This was an amazing few days of following along on Twitter and Plurk and attending as many virtual sessions as I could. There were so many wonderful ideas and I’m still trying to synthesize it all and figure out what I’m going to actually make a part of what I teach. This will be a subject of a future blog post.

ISTE Unplugged by McTeach

  • Flat Classroom Workshop
    I have long thought of having my 8th grade class participate in the Digiteen Project but have been rather intimidated by it. When I saw a tweet about participating virtually in a Flat Classroom Workshop, I jumped at the chance. This was a whirlwind couple of days but I learned a lot about putting together a project like this and think I’m ready to sign my class up for the Digiteen Project.
  • PBL Camp
    I do projects in the computer lab all the time but I wanted to get more of a handle on true Project Based Learning so I signed up for the camp. This one is on week two and I’ll admit it’s still a bit overwhelming still but I’m hanging in there and hope to start collaborating with another teacher on a project for our classes.
  • 7 Days To a Better EduBlog
    I have not been the best blogger this past year and I’m working on catching up on some blogging about last year’s classes and thought this would be a good thing to do to make sure I do something blogging related at least for 7 days.
  • Plurk Book Study: Drive
    This has just started but I’m looking forward to reading the book and having some discussions with fellow educators.
  • ntcamp 2010
    This is an unconference that will be streamed live and archived. I have heard wonderful things about these types of conferences and hope to be able to catch a session or two live and will visit the archives when it’s done for things I’ve missed because I really don’t plan on being up at 5am on a Saturday in the summer.
  • Reform Symposium 2010
    This is a new online virtual conference that has some amazing presenters. My biggest problem on this one will be making sure that I actually sleep!

And, if it’s possible, I also try to participate in chats and webinars that I think will expand my thinking or help me to be more successful as a teacher. I don’t make all of these but lucky for me (and you) they’re all archived and I can revisit them even if I miss them live!

  • Twitter #edchat
    Sometimes I find it easier to go to the archives for this one because it moves really fast!
  • Classroom 2.0 Live
    There are amazing live events all year long here. I love to attend these live but will often find myself visiting the archives when I need some inspiration.
  • Steve Hargadon Interviews
    Steve interviews some of the most interesting people and all of these get archived too if you miss them.
  • EdTech Talk
    I enjoy the webcasts here all year long and during the summer there are less shows webcasting but I am especially finding ideas and inspiration from the Teachers Teaching Teachers webcasts this summer.

Whew, just looking at this, I think my head is going to explode. Is it too much? Maybe and if I do get overwhelmed, I can always do less but so far I’m finding it invigorating and inspiring!

What are you doing to stretch your brain this summer?

Photo from ctkmcmillan’s photostream