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As a classroom teacher it was always interesting to hear a non-teacher describe their expectations for my 'summer vacation.' They believed my vacation was filled with idyllic weeks at the pool, and lazy, lingering days on the porch with a book in my hand and a dripping glass of iced tea. I am happy to say that I did experience those things - but in brief snatches of time rather than weeks.
The truth of a teacher's life is that much of our summer is spent preparing for the next school year - in classes both face-to-face and online, studying and learning, and catching up on those new pedagogies that we didn't have time to explore during the school year. For many of us summer vacation is a time for personal, professional learning.
If you are ready for personal, professional learning,
here are some online opportunities for you
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The first opportunity is from Atomic Learning.
This amazing site is a treasure trove of videos that break down online learning tasks into easy to practice snippets. If you live in the state of Iowa you have free access to this site through IowaAEAOnline with your school district's log in.
This summer Atomic Learning is offering an additional opportunity. With this link you can sign up for weekly emails focused on helping you learn something new - Google maps to digital photography!
The second opportunity is all things Google!
Google has recently revamped their training pages - moving the focus from the tools to integration of the tools into the learning environment. The training is broken into two options: Fundamentals and Advanced. These are the first two modules in the Fundamental course.
Each module includes learning opportunites, videos, quizzes and reflection prompts.
If your school district is a Google school, this professional development option may be just the one for you! Follow the highlighted links for all the information
The third personal, professional learning option is something completely different. Two school districts have created summer camp websites for their staff. One of them is brought to you by Augustus H. Burley School in Chicago, Illinois, and the other from Portland Public School in Oregon. Each of these websites includes a variety of challenges to earn badges - just like the camp experiences from our childhood.
These sites are great resources for you, no matter the school district where you work. Explore the challenges and take advantage of the reflection prompts on your own blog as you apply this learning.
Another very personalized professional learning option is Kathy Schrock's website. This website is an incredible plethora of knowledge! The link to the left is one example of the site's wealth of information as it focuses on online tools. The tools are divided into categories of use - with links to the actual tools.
Spend some time this summer exploring the many links included in the site. Feel free to reach out to the members of our team as well, each of us brings our own unique teaching experience to our technology consultant work.
I hope you have time to rejuvenate, renew and recharge this summer!
In the words of the German writer Van Goethe -
We must always change,
renew, rejuvenate ourselves,
otherwise we harden.
We owe that to our students, our family, and most of all ourselves.
Beth Swantz, Technology Consultant