Thursday, April 1, 2010

Examples of PD Opportunities on the Web

Last week I had the opportunity to watch the live Ustream of Wesley Fryer's Technology 4 Teachers course at the University of Central Oklahoma. I've known since last fall that Wes was webcasting the course, but I hadn't found the time to watch the stream until last week. The part of the course that I watched was about screencasting. The students were learning how to screencast and learning about the educational uses of screencasting. During the livestream Wes left the chat open which I used to say hello, add a couple of (hopefully constructive) comments, and even lend a brief moment of tech support.

The point of this post is not so much to talk about the nuts and bolts of Wesley's course, but rather to share an example of the type of professional development that is available for free on the web. Sure, you don't get university credits for watching all of courses online, but you do get access to all of the course materials and the learning that comes with that access. In essence you're auditing the course for free.

Another example of a free professional learning opportunity provided by Wes Fryer appeared on the web yesterday. Yesterday, Wes and his daughter Sarah presented at a school in New Hampshire. Again, the presentation was streamed live on Ustream and was recorded. I watched the recording in chunks last night and throughout the day. The focus of the presentation was on the educational value of creating, remixing, and sharing digital content online. I've embedded the video below. Two of the highlights of the presentation are a student-created video about Pi and a short question and answer session with Wesley's daughter Sarah.


Again, this post wasn't intended just to sing the praises of what Wes Fryer is doing for education (although I think it does that). The purpose is to highlight the fact that the web offers teachers more professional development opportunities than even the biggest schools with the biggest budgets can offer.