The ways that teachers engage in self-directed professional learning are myriad, and sometimes I think it can be a bit overwhelming to try and narrow one’s focus, particularly for those who, like me, suffer from a severe case of FOMO. I find myself wanting to do everything and learn everything! Of course, I know it’s impossible, but I’m still left with that nagging feeling that there’s so much more to know and learn. So what’s a girl to do? For me, committing to learning something new goes beyond simply attending a one-off workshop or webinar. I want to access related networks and information, implement and reflect on my professional learning with a community of educators.
In the last month alone I’ve been active in chats with my Twitter PLN, interacting with teachers throughout the province using TeachOntario to discuss various platforms for creating student e-portfolios, participating in an online book club about the book, Creating Thinking Classrooms. I’ve also been taking part in ed. tech webinars offered as part of the OTF Connects series through the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and considering the professional learning and leadership implications for the integration of technology and 21st-century skills in education. Last week I also attended an evening session about design thinking in education offered by Future Design School.
At a glance, this looks like a dizzying list of separate pursuits. I feel a bit overwhelmed myself, looking at it all laid out on screen. I have to admire my colleague Joe Romano for his focused approach to self-directed professional learning.
In reflecting on my learning, however, I’ve realized that it’s not quite as scattered as it may seem. I think what I’m really after is to establish a better understanding of, and strategies for, providing students with opportunities for deep learning. So with a clearly identified focus, I’m going to attempt to be more judicious in handing out “yesses”, try to quell my FOMO and stay the course with this topic as a guide for my learning moving forward.
As a next step, I’ll be looking at some of Michael Fullan’s work on new pedagogies for deep learning because I think it will provide me with some of the overarching conceptual knowledge that I’m looking for: