Professional development used to be an opportunity to go to a workshop, conference, etc. and attend training. In many cases, the participant would take notes trying to see how it might fit their situation, go back to school, lose their notes and keep on doing what they were doing before the training. If it was a particularly good presentation, they might take a few nuggets of wisdom to be used to enhance their instruction.
Today, professional development has become a more personal professional learning. Educators are encouraged to evaluate their practice using data and determine what barriers are preventing students from the best instruction possible. Teachers then do action research to find strategies and resources to enhance their classroom instruction to breach those barriers. Because the Internet allows training to be obtained on an as needed basis, the teacher can personalize their professional learning by choosing the resources that best meets their instructional needs and do so as the needs arise.
A search in Discovery Education using “professional development,” yielded 233 hits. All these wonderful resources on many different topics are accessible at any time, day or night. The Discovery Education “Professional Development” tab provides tutorials on using Discovery Education as well as integrating many other resources. I particularly liked the “Digital Media Integration” with ways to use Discovery Education with the specific digital tools.
My personal favorite professional learning comes from the blogs, events, and webinars offered through Discovery Education. I feel like the character in Forrest Gump listing the different blogs. There are the DEN Global Blogs, Admin Academy Blogs, Cache and Cookies Blogs, Assessment Blogs, Canada Blogs, Science Blogs, Kathy’s Katch Blogs, Leadership Council Blogs (for each state,) SOS Blogs, and the DEN Zone Broadcasts. If you can’t find anything there to help you, you must be research challenged. The events, if you are lucky enough to attend one, are hosted by real-live educators giving tools, resources, and strategies that actually can be useful in the classroom. Events are a load of fun, too. The 4-1-1 Webinar Series through YouTube is awesome focusing on 4 integration strategies, one program and one trending topic. Discovery offers webinars you can register and attend for free. You can even search the archives and learn from the recorded webinars that meet your needs.
Finally, Wilkes University is partnered with Discovery to offer degrees that educators can earn. How cool is that?
Support? You don’t know support if you don’t know Discovery!