Increasingly, educators are taking charge of our own professional development (PD) rather than waiting on our employers to provide what someone else thinks we need to know to improve teaching and learning. Many of us are using personal learning networks (PLNs) such as the one here in the Collaboratory, or a thoughtfully cultivated Twitter feed to stimulate our thinking and access useful information. [For more on that see Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall’s great book, The Connected Educator.]

Another source of professional learning that I highly recommend are the growing number of virtual conferences organized by educators for educators. There’s a great one coming up next week (Nov. 18th – 22nd): The 2013 Global Education Conference. No planes to catch, no hotel rooms to reserve, no missing days from school–all you need is a way to connect to the Web.

Here’s a brief description:

The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity. Last year’s conference featured 400 general sessions and 20 keynote addresses from all over the world with over 13,000 participant logins.

The conference seeks to present ideas, examples, and projects related to connecting educators and classrooms with a strong emphasis on promoting global awareness, fostering global competency, and inspiring action towards solving real–world problems. Through this event, attendees will challenge themselves and others to become more active citizens of the world. Participants are encouraged to learn, question, create, and engage in meaningful, authentic opportunities within a global context!

Along with keynotes and workshops (all streamed live and archived), there is also a Ning site and other ways to connect participants during and after the conference.

This is an opportunity not just for personal professional development, but a great way to introduce colleagues and others to the power of digital learning and social media. These conferences are amazingly well-organized, and the organizers, led by Lucy Gray and Steve Haragdon  deserve our admiration and support for this great service to the profession.

Hope I “see” you at GlobalEdCon!


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