A conference, summer CPD and a UNESCO report

Here are three options for you to consider in order to give a boost to your professional development:

  • The forthcoming ISTE conference in Philadelphia.
  • A cornucopia of ideas for professional development over the summer break, in case all that relaxing gets you down.
  • A report from UNESCO on Learning, Innovation and ICT.

All this was published last week in Computers in Classrooms, the free e-newsletter for educational ICT professionals. Subscribe now (literally: right now) and you’ll stand a chance of winning a premium version of Xobni, a pretty good email management tool. I’m running the draw for that at 10 pm UK time today.

Read on for the details of those three resources.

The ISTE Conference

Something I’d really love to do, but prevented from doing by work commitments, is attend the ISTE conference again. I’ve been twice, and I have to say the experience is amazing. I have a bit of a vested interest in that I’m an ambassador for ISTE in the UK, but that’s an unpaid position and I haven’t been asked to promote the conference, so please bear with me while I rave about it for a few minutes.

These are what I found to be the benefits of attending:

  • There’s a great buzz. Mind you, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t with 20,000 people attending!
  • There are fantastic opportunities for professional development, including many informal ones.
  • Unlike many educational conferences, ISTE does have students around, like on the stands in the poster sessions, or as part of the entertainment. It’s inspiring to see what students can do, and to chat to them about their work.
  • The people are great, and that’s what partly makes the buzz I referred to earlier. Each time I’ve attended I’ve met in person people with whom I’ve developed a friendship online prior to the conference.

This year the conference takes place from 26th to 29th June, in Philadelphia. If you can’t make it physically, you can take part remotely.

Professional development during the summer break

Shelly Terrell has written a great post entitled What Will You Learn this Summer? 26 Professional Development Resources. In it she lists several interesting-looking blog series (including my own 31 Days to become a better ed tech leader), live events and free online classes. If you’re worried about getting rusty over the summer, you need this article!

Shelly also has a great series called the 30 Goals Challenge. It’s a good source of ideas for improving your practice and extending your knowledge. Shelly has been recording video versions of the 30 goals, and I think if you were to watch one or two of these with your colleagues that would make a basis for some good team discussion and professional development.

UNESCO report

There is an interesting report from UNESCO on Learning, Innovation and ICT. Its recommendations include:

  • The policies on “ICT for learning” should be based on long-term educational objectives and become an integral part of the core educational agenda.
  • “ICT for learning” policies should be dynamic and holistic.
  • Policies and their implementations should be based on sound research and evaluation.
  • Drop the “e” in e-learning – it is about learning in a digital and networked society.
  • Adapt teacher education and training as to embrace more open and flexible learning

Definitely worth a look, especially as it draws on the experience of several countries. Download it free of charge.

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