When I first started teaching, the only professional development I could get was from reading books, attending conferences or from my local school board. The internet has drastically changed the way people can access information. Now I can obtain professional development on my own time, and from home!
Social media sites are a great place to look for new ideas and current education trends. I have outlined below how teachers can use a few different social media sites to enhance their teaching practice.
Many teaching blogs have Facebook Pages that you can follow. These teachers share content related to their audience i.e Math bloggers share math ideas. Even better than Facebook Pages are Facebook Groups. These groups are usually created around a grade level or subject area. Within these groups is a wealth of knowledge and resources from other educators. If you teach Grades 6 to 12 English Language Arts please join the #2ndaryELA Facebook Group. This growing group has over 3000 members who share their ideas and resources daily. Follow 2 Peas and a Dog on Facebook.
Bloglovin'. Bloglovin' is a website that allows you to find and read blogs in a variety of categories. I use it to follow my favourite blogs and get email notifications when they write a new post. Another great place to look for teaching blogs is the Middle School Blog Log. Blogs are categorized by subject area. This is a good starting place to find your favourite teacher blogs. Follow 2 Peas and a Dog on Bloglovin'.
blog post about reasons to use Instagram. Follow 2 Peas and a Dog on Instagram.
Twitter is a great place to stay current with education news and ideas. Start by searching for popular education hashtags related to your subject areas. Then look at the content people are Tweeting about. If you enjoy the content of those Tweeters, then follow their accounts. Another great way to interact with teachers on Twitter is through taking part in a Twitter chat. Many different Twitter chats run weekly and are usually open to new participants. New to Twitter chats? Check out this quick video to see how easy they are to use. If you think a Tweet is interesting you can hit the Retweet button, and it will get sent out on your personal Twitter feed. Every Tuesday night, July through May join the #2ndaryELA Twitter chat from 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm EST. The next time you are on Twitter look at these hashtags to find great content and professional learning: #2ndaryELA, #edchat #educhat, #ntchat, #teacheredchat, #elemchat, #spedchat, #DI4ALL, #GoogleEdu, #edtech, #21stedchat. This blog post has a great Twitter chat organizer to help you keep track of your chats. Follow 2 Peas and a Dog on Twitter.
Additional Professional Development Resources
- Read the summary post from a #2ndaryELA Twitter chat about this topic
- Don't forget about YouTube channels and playlists. Check out the Created For Learning channel
- I love listening to podcasts during my daily commute. Check out The Cult of Pedagogy and The Cornerstone For Teachers. I use an app on my phone to listen to podcasts. Apps are available in both the Apple App Store and the Android Play Market. Check out this list of 12 great educational podcasts.
You are now in control of your own personal professional development. Use these tools to guide your journey.