Our digital age of the knowledge economy has turned learning on its head, and I don’t want to fall behind. I want to keep up. It’s moving faster than I think anyone imagined it could. However, I am a finite being as are you. There’s no feasible, human way for me to know and retain every single piece of knowledge available in the world. How does one stay connected to all without wearing one’s self out? For me I am rebuilding and refining my professional learning network (PLN). It’s one way for me to learn at my own pace but to also stay engaged with people in my field who have expertise in areas I do not. I may not have the time to take all the college or graduate courses, but I can learn from the myriad men and women sharing their wisdom.
As an educator, I do not want to stop learning. I also don’t want to have a lopsided PLN. I want it to be vibrant and lively. I recently found a way to do this – Coffee EDU. I found out about through a Region 10 EdTech conference in May. Think of it as a meetup for educators in your city. They are literally happening all across the country. I liken it to a mini unconference for educators to gather, share, learn, and grow. These meetings are only one hour in length so you don’t have to worry about the tyranny of time, informal, and they are hosted by different folks. You can search Twitter under the hashtag #coffeeedu to see all the amazingness that’s happening in your city. Since I’m in Dallas/Ft. Worth, I know of at least two different Coffee Edus. One is hosted by Education Service Center Region 10 and the other is hosted by EdTech Mason. You can go to their websites to find out more information, and maybe I’ll see you at one.
Why I’ll keep going and may you should try at least one or two Coffee Edu gatherings? Because what I learn is immediately practical and applicable. Connect with educators in various roles in different districts. This is wonderful because you can hear stories of how other educators are dealing with issues similar to your own. You can share best practices. You might even make a new friend or get new ideas for your classroom, school, or district.
Now that I’ve shared all the backstory, I want to share with you resources, podcasts, and apps that I am going to try. I wouldn’t have known about these had I not attended this event. I hope they are helpful to you. I’ll let you know how my experimentation goes as I listen and test these ideas.
Since this is my on first post on what I’ve learned so far, I thought I’d share the latest news that I hope is useful to you as well. I want to continue to learn about new or useful educational tools/books.
- Since I want to be an effective school leader, I’m looking for resources I can read or listen to that will help me grow.
- Podcasts I’ll try based on the first Coffee Edu I went to
- Apps to try
Learn on, friends. Learn on! And also share what great educational things you’ve found that have been helpful. I’d love to hear your stories.