Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seminar vs. Webinar

I sometimes long for the "good ol' days" and those crowded New York State Reading Conferences up at the ol' Concord Hotel in the Catskill. There were so many vendors trying to "give" you books and materials to "try" that you had bags and bags of "stuff" to take home and then "boxes" and "more boxes" would arrive in the mail.  I remember sitting next to Peter Johnston and talking to him about action research, classroom language and our kids' soccer games!  I would come back so stimulated and excited to try new ideas. Truth be told, those conferences were also a bit stressful as you had to come up with plans for school and home without you there!  Plus, with all that stuffy air, you always comae home with a cold!

While there are still international and national conferences out there for teachers (e.g. IRA, NCTE), most of us are not going to have school district sanctioned participation in local or even regional conferences because of the costs and tight school budgets.  However, within our Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) we can attend Webinars.  There, we can sit "with" professionals and get new ideas without the planning or expense of attending a conference. 

This link came up on my Twitter feed yesterday and it really got me thinking:

In recent months, I have worked on and learned a LOT about technology through my own reading (and following) on the Internet. It's been every bit as stimulating as talking to Peter and I have not had to leave my "office."  

One of the ways I have "stimulated" my own writing is through participation in the Slice of Life group at Two Writing Teachers.  From there, I got "hooked" into participating in the Teachers Write all summer long!  I found my way over to the Nerdy Book Club and even had a day of fame when they published MY writing!  Without ever leaving my couch, I have "talked to" teachers who are pushing us all into the 21st Century with a vengeance.  I feel like Kevin is my techno mentor and I really do look forward to checking my Twitter feed for short bits of educational stimulation.

It only makes sense that Webinars are the "wave of the future" for educators and an added bonus is that entire teams of teachers can go for a little bit of money! 

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