Social Media Feeds Freewheeling Professional Development
Educators click into Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for quick feedback and open-ended discussions
Online social networking is spawning a new type of professional development that brings educators together to share face-to-face lessons, but in a more freewheeling—and, some argue, more targeted—way than traditional conferences intended to boost teaching skills.
Such events, dubbed Edcamps, are springing up across the country. The sessions are often organized by people who met through social-networking sites centered around PD for educators and are heavily advertised through sites like Twitter, Ning, and Facebook. The one-day, real-world gatherings have no preset agenda or speakers, but proponents say they provide educators with information on the latest trends and build on discussions that have taken place in online forums.
“It’s a completely new style of professional development, but it still hasn’t happened enough to be really well known” said Kyle Pace , an instructional technology specialist for the 17,500-student Lee’s Summit, Mo., school district , who helped organize an Edcamp in Kansas City last year that drew about 100 attendees and has another...
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