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Great summer professional development: The Future of Education

June 3, 2011

Most of my pans for this summer center around taking care of this wonderful 7 month old, which can certainly cut in to my conference travel plans.

teaching my 7 month old about SHM

However, I’ve managed to schedule in some time to learn from the following thinkers:

And if I have some extra time, maybe I’ll catch up with Ken Robinson (author of The Element), Barry Swartz (author of the Paradox of Choice), David Shenk (author of The Genius in All of Us) and lots of others.

And best of all, I’ll do all of this from the comfort of my own home.


All of the above speakers will be participating in the Future of Education project, a wonderful series of elluminate interviews by Steve Hargadon, who seems to have made a full time job of interviewing very influential thinkers twice a week. Best of all, Steve records the live interviews and posts them as .mp3s for your listening convenience. Steve even put together a handy google calendar to keep up with everything.

When I first started teaching, professional development felt like this fancy thing that I needed to apply for funding to do, travel to some far off conference and listen to a bunch of strangers tell me about things that may or may not impact my classroom. Often, PD felt like a chore that kept me from doing the things I really wanted to do with my free time.

Now that I’m a bit older and wiser, I realize the most beneficial professional development for me has been the continuous intellectual wandering I do, reading books, blogs and all sorts of news, listening to lectures and podcasts, and finally, more interactive ventures, like the Global Physics Department, and meetings of the Atlanta Metro Physics Teachers. And it shouldn’t surprising that the glue that has made almost all of this possible is the internet—twitter, email, skype and elluminate.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 4, 2011 8:05 am

    John, I love the caption on the picture of Maddie. It made me vividly remember experimenting with sparks with my son in the park, on the plastic slide, in the winter, his joyous squeals of “exth-tra electronths!” coming back to me.

    My own best professional development was the four years spent discussing students, teaching and preparation with you every day of the week. And that continues with my current colleagues. It kills me when I talk to teachers who have no such regular interaction outside of going to a conference or workshop. I’m so lucky to have that interaction every day… and for me, it has always been a deep and thorough interaction. All the internet means of collaborating have made things even better, and I suspect they help those who are isolated in silos of learning.

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