Here’s a novel idea. Teachers are always focused on what (more) they can do for their kids, but sometimes they would be better off doing something for themselves instead. It may be counterintuitive, but sometimes that can often mean doing better or more things for the kids anyway. Here are some ideas you might like to consider.
Take the 31 day course
A couple of years ago I wrote a series of posts under the heading “31 Days to become a better ed tech leader”. That link takes you the first page of the art list of articles, which appear in reverse chronological order. Strangely, there are actually 40 articles!
My aim in writing them was to help (would-be) ICT leaders improve without having to spend more than 15 minutes or so a day doing so, although in a couple of them you would have to work pretty fast to achieve that! Although it was aimed at leaders, the series has plenty of value for teachers too. And you don’t have to do all of them if you don’t want to!
Grab some professional development
I think it’s crucial for teachers to have decent professional development. There are lots of opportunities. Here are three that come to mind:
- Inclusive technologies conference. This takes place in the evening of 12th October, and is free.
- Technology Enhanced Learning ‘stories’. This runs from the afternoon until 8pm on 6th November, and “showcases research and prototypes that could revolutionise UK education with technology”. Oh, and it’s free.
- BETT 2013. This takes place over several days towards the end of January, and is the place to find out about new developments in both thinking and “stuff”. That’s free too, though some of the seminars will have a cost attached to them.
Read some blogs
You can do a search for “ICT” or “educational technology” to see what you come up with. I find Technorati is quite useful for coming up with blogs I haven’t come across before. I also like to read some news aggregators, such as Zite. These are good for finding a range of articles which you may not otherwise see, and which may have little or nothing to do with educational technology – which is good, because a change is as good as a rest! See the last reference under “Related articles” below too.
Follow some Twitterers
There are a few good ones listed in the second article in the “Related articles” list, below. Mine isn’t there, for some inexplicable reason, but I’m followed by some great people so you could check to see who follows me, or follow one of the lists I follow. Hey, you could even follow me! I’m @terryfreedman.
Draw a line at the end of the day
There are lots of good discussions, such as regular weekly chats on Twitter, or evening meet-ups. I’d encourage everyone to try them at least once, especially as I occasionally run them myself, but I would also encourage people to have a cut-off point. I have started to be kind to myself by not taking part in discussions which take place at what I regard as unsociable times, because I think it’s important to do other things too. Like talk to the family!
Have a complete break
I realise it’s not that long since the summer break, but this is a long term, so a weekend away, if you can manage it, would be an excellent idea. I went “off the grid” not so long ago, and it did me the world of good. Can’t say the effects lasted long though…!