Summer Professional Development Options

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image credit: mscheff

With summer just a few weeks away, I wanted to share a broad range of hands-on, high quality professional development opportunities for Burlington teachers, staff, and administrators to explore. Whether you are looking for collaborative, teacher-led formats such as an Edcamp, want time to experiment with technology tools that can engage all learners and solve real instructional challenges, or wish to learn from experts who teach your content area, the options I’ve curated have the unique needs of educators in mind. I also wanted to share professional development options for high school guidance counselors, including resources to become a Bullying Prevention Specialist, as well as Special Education and ELL teachers. Just as our students have unique needs and ways of learning, we as educators do as well. We cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach in the classroom, nor should we when it comes to our own professional development. So read on, see what catches your eye, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Attend a Summer Edcamp Right Here In Burlington

BPS Summer Edcamp Series

The Summer Edcamp Series provides informal participatory professional development for teachers of all grades and content areas. Attendees can lead a session or just join in the conversation and collaboration with others. This event is a great opportunity to learn and develop your learning network.

Massachusetts Digital Publication Collaborative

Learn from and share with others while curating and creating digital resources for your classroom during the Collaborative sessions.  This year’s Collaborative will be held in partnership with the BPS Summer Edcamp Series and provide a unique foundation for the development of digital content for your classroom with the support of the BPS EdTech Team and other teachers in your content area. Register for FREE for either event by clicking here. BPS Summer Edcamps and the MADPC will be offered Tuesday July 15, 22, 29 and August 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Marshall Simonds Middle School.

Explore DIY Professional Development with Resources from Edutopia

summer-pd-2011tocEdutopia is offering a free, downloadable summer rejuvenation guide filled with tips and ideas on how to get the most out of your summer. Whether you wish to grow your network or are looking for tools and resources for service-based or blended learning opportunities, odds are your professional development needs will be met through one of  Edutopia’s many virtual workshops. For new educators, there’s a five-week new teacher boot camp series facilitated by Lisa M. Daabs, founder of the new teacher Twitter chat.

Learn with Educators From Across the World by Attending EdmodoCon Summer 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 8.22.58 PMEdmodoCon is an 11 hour virtual educator conference taking place Wednesday, August 6, 2014.

The event will be live streamed and participants can come and go as they please. All sessions will be archived for educators to watch at their convenience. Learn about new and creative ways to use Edmodo and integrate technology into your classroom. Prior to registering, be sure to test your device to ensure you’ll be able to participate. Registration is free and you can sign-up here. To learn more about EdmodoCon, you can check out the recorded sessions from the 2013 event. Additionally, Edmodo has archived webinars from this past school year that you can also watch. Check out Improving Classroom Engagement with iPads and Edmodo from Chicago Public Schools to learn more about leveraging the iPad in your 1:1 classroom.

Participate in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)

Coursera – Offers an extensive list of free, online courses from some of the world’s most well-respected and recognizable colleges and universities. Courses typically run 4 to 6 weeks and require an average of 4 to 6 hours of work per week. Many of the courses offer official recognition of completion from Coursera and its affiliated universities with a verified certificate. This credential can be added to your CV and shared with your employer through a secure URL. Educators can search for a wide variety of courses by subject area or search through 58 current course offerings on the Teacher Professional Development page. A small sample of some of the courses coming up this summer and early fall include:

Tinkering Fundamentals: A Constructionist Approach to STEM Learning (June 19th)
Tinkering activities provide a powerful way to inspire students’ interest, engagement, and understanding in science. The Tinkering Fundamentals course will help educators and enthusiasts develop a practice of tinkering and making. This course will focus on key design elements of high-quality, science-rich tinkering activities, effective facilitation strategies and environmental organization.”

Applying Principles of Behavior in the K-12 Classroom (University of Houston-June 23rd)
“In this class you will learn how to conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBA) and apply principles of behavior in the public school classroom in order to promote positive classroom behavior and intervene effectively when faced with challenging behavior.”

Copyright for Educators & Librarians (Duke University- July 21st)
“Fear and uncertainty about copyright law often plagues educators and sometimes prevents creative teaching. This course is a professional development opportunity designed to provide a basic introduction to US copyright law and to empower teachers and librarians at all grade levels. Course participants will discover that the law is designed to help educators and librarians.”

Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Develop Performance Tasks for the Common Core (Stanford University- September 8th)
This MOOC is designed for grade 6-12 teachers working in the core disciplines of mathematics, language arts, history/social studies, and science. It is recommended that participants currently teach or have access to a classroom for which they can design a performance assessment and then implement that assessment. Participants will work collaboratively with other educators in their discipline to accomplish course learning goals and assignments.”

Check out this short video to learn more about the power of a MOOC:

Take an Affordable, Self-Paced, Flex-Time Course Through the Professional Development Institute

appleFor educators looking for salary advancement or credential renewal, PDI courses may be an option. PDI offers convenient, flex-time courses for k-12 educators. Courses range from implementing common core writing, literature, and math standards, to character education, and comprehension strategies. A full list of the courses being offered can be accessed here. Each course has five online tests and five written assignments. PDI courses are worth 3 ⅓ semester units (5 quarter units) of graduate credit from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Extension, a WASC accredited university. Credit is available for an additional $184 for the top                                             twelve flex courses (all others only $230). Educators have a year to finish courses after registering online.

Bring Collaboration to the Next Level: Attend An Edcamp (After Attending Edcamp Burlington of course!) 

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 8.32.47 PMNo matter where your summer travels take you, there is likely to be an Edcamp in your area! Heading to the Cape? Check out Edcamp Cape Cod on August 11th, or you can venture over to The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT and experience Edcamp Connecticut. The Granite State’s Antioch University New England, located in Keene, NH is also hosting an Edcamp on August 20th. Visit the Edcamp Wiki for a full list. If you’ve never been to one, an Edcamp is an incredibly unique professional development experience. When I attended Edcamp Boston in 2013 I really didn’t know what to expect. But by the end of the day, I was completely sold on the model and I wish more PD could offer me the same type of personalized experience that an Edcamp provides. The collaborative nature, teacher-driven agenda, and informal yet energizing atmosphere of an Edcamp are just a few of the reasons why every educator should attend at least one and experience it for him or herself. On top of all that, Edcamps allow you to walk away with an arsenal of practical, engaging, and most often free tools and resources that can be integrated into your practice right away. Finally, Edcamps allow you to connect with your colleagues and develop meaningful and lasting relationships. It’s the ideal way to grow your personal learning network. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself what Edcamps are all about.

Explore New Applications & Move the iPad from Content Consumption to Content Creation

Richard Byrne, author of the award-winning, must-bookmark blog Free Technology Tools for Teachers, shares a vast amount of resources for teachers of all grade levels and content areas. In addition to his main site, Richard has a separate iPad Apps for Schools site where he shares resources specific to the iPad. Recently, Richard highlighted iPad apps that teachers may want to explore this coming summer. Be sure to check out:

21 Good iPad Apps for Teachers of 3rd-5th Grade Students to Try This Summer
21 Good iPad Apps for Middle School Teachers to Try This Summer
21 Good iPad Apps for Teachers of High School Students to Try This Summer

Additional Virtual PD Opportunities:

Below are direct links to educational webinars covering everything from common core to flipping your classroom. Webinars are free, convenient, and many offer certificates of completion.

ASCD Summer Bootcamp – Classroom Technology Webinar Series
ASCD Webinar archive educational Webinars
eSchool News Webinars
Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success  (June 24)
Technology Integration to Meet the Needs of the Common Core
Early Literacy Instruction Using Visual Supports for Students on the Autism Spectrum
Summer of Twitter Teacher Challenge (please let me know if you need assistance getting started with Twitter!)
Summer Learning Series via Todd Nesloney (a weekly technology challenge for educators)
ThingLink Teacher Challenge

Engage in Professional Reading

Summer is the perfect time to catch up with some professional reading. Check out this great list of fiction and nonfiction titles that was curated by educators for educators (and administrators) during a recent Sunday morning Twitter chat. You can also visit the BHS library for a collection of titles that may be of interest to you including Born Digital, It’s Complicated, Smarter Than You Think, The App Generation, and Chris Brogan’s The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. A special thanks goes to BHS Librarian Susan Disanto (@reddevils_lib) for purchasing these books for the faculty, staff, and administration of Burlington High School.

I hope you will find these resources useful and will further investigate those which you feel will best meet your individual professional development needs. I wish you all a restful and relaxing vacation and here’s to a great summer of learning!

image credit: mscheff

image credit: mscheff





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