Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Favorite Online PL: Classroom 2.0 Live

Susie Highley is currently a middle school/intermediate media specialist in MSD Warren Township, Indianapolis, and President-Elect of the Association of Indiana School Library Educators (AISLE). She formerly taught science, and is a co-founder of edCampIndy, which will be held again this summer.

With time at a premium, how do you decide when to participate in Professional Learning outside of school?  I've been to my share of webinars (between tweetchats and webinars, several per week). Hands down, my favorite and most beneficial online opportunities have been the Classroom 2.0 Live webinars on Saturdays. Saturday? These sessions have been so helpful that I often arrange my day around being able to participate, and I've been known to hit one while out and about, even stopping at a restaurant (okay, McDonald's) or library just to catch the wi-fi and log in. And if I can't be there live, the Classroom 2.0 Live site has an extensive array of resources, including an archive of the session (video or podcast), and a Livebinder containing all resources in the presentation or mentioned in the chat.  You can feel free to contact the leaders if I have any questions (which I have done).

Classroom 2.0 Live sessions are held in Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate), a very easy platform to use.  A brief orientation is available in advance on the website and at the beginning of the session. I've "known" Peggy George, one of the organizers, since we were both on the T2T listserv in the 90's, and I've since met her and several regular attendees at ISTE.

What distinguishes the Classroom 2.0 Live Webinars from many others?  They're practical.  They often feature master teachers, real teachers still in the classroom. The attendees frequently represent four or five continents (just one reason for the close-captioning).  While designed to be an hour, they sometimes go over because people keep having great questions or examples.  Some attendees end up becoming the "Featured Teacher" at future sessions. There are no dumb questions. If you need PGP points, you can receive a certificate via email.

Upcoming sessions include February 16 on Evernote with Nicholas Provenzano (AKA @thenerdyteacher); a complete calendar of the Saturday programs, as well as Steve Hargadon's Future of Education sessions can be found on the Classroom 2.0 site.

CHALLENGE: 1) Participate in a Classroom 2.0 Live Session, either on a Saturday, or watch via the archive. Watch on a computer, tablet, or mobile device, even listen in your car. Please comment on what you found most effective or useful.  Some particularly outstanding sessions I would recommend:

Symbaloo:  I've been to F2F Symbaloo sessions, but learned more from this great session with Pam Cranford. Symbaloo Shareathon (and there was an earlier Symbaloo session, longer, but also good).

How better to learn about LiveBinders than a session with founder Barbara Tallent and the always-entertaining @techwithTia Letia Cooper? That session highlighted Tia's great binder  "100+ STEM resources."
While you're at it, check out her other resources, including the great calendars.

Blogging with Kids with @Linda Yollis had many ideas I hadn’t considered.

Cat Flippen's session on "Online Assessments, Data Collection and YOU!" was all about using Google docs, and was excellent. 

Karen Mensing had a fantastic presentation on using YouTube to create classroom videos.

 Before the resources were shared via a Livebinder, there was a fabulous session with Donalyn Miller (AKA @donalynbooks, "The Book Whisperer").

You can find many other great sessions through search, or by the lengthy list of tags on the lower right of the archive page.

Challenge 2: Nominate someone (or yourself) to be a "Featured Teacher". Presenters practice with the moderators a week in advance in Elluminate so that they can feel comfortable on air.

The professional connections and the ideas I've gained from Classroom 2.0 Live have proved invaluable. One slight downside from a Saturday webinar: you may have to wait until Monday to try new ideas with students!

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday's session with Kidblogger founder Matt Hardy was another beneficial one, as he blended an overall view of the benefits of having students blog, create digital portfolios, and interact with other students in the same classroom and around the world.

    Topics for upcoming Saturdays are now available. After Nick Provenzano's session on Evernote on the 16th, they are:

    February 23: Featured Teacher: Ryan Hong, Gr. 6/7 Teacher

    March 2: Stretch and SCRATCH-Heidi Williams

    March 9: Featured Teacher: Jamie Cook, 8th gr. Math/Technology Teacher

    Hope you will join us. The archived sessions are great, but attending live is even better.