I love attending workshops – whether they are hour-long sessions organized within a conference, 4-day long events, or anything in between. In fact, I am registered to attend about 6 hours worth of workshops in the next week and a half as part of University of Alberta’s Teaching Development Week 🙂
I just finished assisting my supervisor with a literature review on teachers’ professional development and learning. I didn’t realize there was a difference and learned that:
professional development involves formal events
whereas professional learning includes a variety of activities like informal teacher collaborations.
So…I started thinking about my own experiences with formal events – which led me to update my page (“Professional Development”) on this site.
…I recall a fascinating speaker from last year’s conference – Dr. Michael Wesch* who presented “From Knowledgeable to Knowledgeable: Building New Learning Environments for New Media Environments” and introduced me to a new term “Web 2.0.”
Although I am comfortable with technology, and have considered myself relatively up-to-date… I had never heard the term “Web 2.0” until his presentation last year. (In short, it refers to anything on the web that facilitates participatory information sharing and collaboration).
This summer I became personally familiar:
- My supervisor introduced me to one form of Web 2.0 – he shares research project files with me through Dropbox. We have also used it while collaborating on writing articles. Now…I can’t imagine not using Dropbox!
- The University of Alberta has recently embraced Google Docs. This is a site I am also experimenting with, as there are other collaborative features available there.
- Although I have used Facebook for a few years…I only now realize that social networking sites are considered “Web 2.0”
- …and, I recently joined the world of ‘bloggers’ (like friends: Ashleigh, Jane, Lisa, Michelle, and Tania) by creating this site (and trying the post option on the ACME website I have been developing).
So, here I am…using a Web 2.0 tool to ‘blog’ about professional development and learning – a topic I wrote about while collaborating on a literature review stored online in Dropbox…oh my…
These new tools have already changed the way I work as a university student…
and I don’t officially start my program until September 7!
I wonder what I will learn next 🙂
*I encourage you to check out Michael Wesch’s videos on YouTube (Digital Ethnography) – very thought-provoking! Here are the links to 3 of my favourites:
- Rethinking Education (6+ mins on technology and the university – 2011)
- A Vision of Students Today (excellent 5 min video – made in 2007)
- A Vision of Students Today (new samples from students in 2011)
PS – and speaking of technology…sorry for whatever ad appears below…the ‘price’ of using a free Web 2.0 😉 …this post is brought to you by the following…