I am sure other states are developing networks that support professional development, but this week I must tip my hat to the outstanding educators in the state of Maine. I have been aware for quite some time of the wonderful contributions from Maine. Examples include Richard Byrne’s Free Technology For Teachers which is replenished almost daily with outstanding free educational resources, and, of course, Cheryl Oakes, Alice Barr, and Bob Sprankle’s award winning podcast site that has a mission to grow professional development called Seedlings (Check out the interview they had with me at bottom of this link), and their awesome Maine One To One Initiative. I have just recently learned about The Maine Learning Technology Initiative. I hope you are ready to learn some neat PD ideas and as always follow me on twitter at (mjgormans). I will return the favor and we can learn from each other! Also please visit my 21st Century Ed Tech Wiki, my attempt at building a collection of free and inexpensive resources to facilitate 21st Century Learning! Have a great week! – Mike
The Maine Learning Technology Initiative and their Webcast Link should be one of your Maine sites for professional development and a Maine idea when planning how to better facilitate PD in all states and countries. Maine121.org is owned and operated by the Maine Learning Technology Initiative at the State of Maine Department of Education. It is dedicated to providing professional development support and resources to the teachers of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). The MLTI staff is using web-based technologies to communicate and collaborate with educators interested in engaging in conversation around teaching and learning with technology. This type of WebCast provides an economical way for educators to participate interactively in a live virtual environment, right from the comfort of their own computer desktops. My purpose in this post is to encourage other individuals and organizations to follow this type of innovative professional development.
At this time, MLTI WebCasts are held each Thursday at both 3:15 pm and 7:15 pm are approximately an hour long. Topics are updated, as well as links to full descriptions, for each WebCast listed on the web site about 2 weeks prior to the event date. You can subscribe and view the Calendar and even visit an Archive of all past sessions. The archived section is an easy click (Adobe Flash Player 7 should be installed) with no sign up required. In respect to their bandwidth and other possible limitations, the archived section is a good choice for those out of state. For educators in Maine, registration is required for attendance at a live webinar. Launched in October, the present size of the library is over twenty webinars and growing each week! The webinars are organized in five categories of focus including 1) Making Meaning, 2) Writing Process, 3) Research Process, 4) UDL & Accessibility, and 5) Digital Storytelling and Media Production. Each week one of these areas of study is visited in a live webcast. Past archived Webinars include investigations in UDL, the writing process, digital storytelling, the research process, making meaning, understanding images in time, digital citizenship, leadership, and data. A sample of upcoming Webinars includes titles such as Evaluation of Resources, Fair Use and Copyright, Digital Storytelling and Media Production: Voices That Sing, Voices That Tell, Access to Classroom Learning by Students with Blindness and Low Vision, Blogs, Wikis, and Social Media, and Digital Storytelling and Media Production: Images In Action.
The people at MLTI state that all of their content (unless otherwise noted) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. You are encouraged to take what MLTI produces, remix it and reuse it to help teachers and students in a nonprofit manner. MLTI welcomes your feedback, and encourages you to share your remixes, experiences, and thoughts on any of their materials through the MLTI blog. I really do think the the people at MLTI have come up with what could be a Maine idea for future professional development!
Thanks for joining me and have a great week. Best of luck in facilitating professional development for others as you grow in your own ! Please feel free to share your ideas and, as always, follow me on twitter at (mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other! Also please visit my 21st Century Ed Tech Wiki, my attempt at building a collection of free and inexpensive resources to facilitate 21st Century Learning! Have a great week! – Mike