The plight of the “busy teacher” is one that, as MassCUE Professional Development workshop facilitator, I can relate to on many levels. Doesn’t it seem like the 21st Century educator just keeps getting busier and busier? The expectations to keep current and stay up-to-date with the latest advances in technology and digital learning are ever-present. Yet the hours in the day seem way too short, and often the demands put upon us seem overwhelming. Somehow we “should” know all there is to know about Google, iPads, Social Media, blogging, App Smashing, Digital Portfolios, Flipping the Classroom…the list goes on-and-on. I have experienced first hand that getting up to speed on these tools can be a challenge. In March, I began to offer online PD opportunities through MassCUE that provided the “busy teacher” with an accessible way to become well-versed in some of these aspects of digital learning. My first workshop dealt with Edublogging and Social Media in the classroom and, my most recent helped educators set up their very own Googlesites. Since the courses were offered online using Edmodo as a classroom platform, each participant was able do the week’s course-work at his or her own pace from the comfort of his or her classroom, kitchen table, or couch. Participants dedicated about 3 hours per week, over the course of 4 weeks, to familiarizing themselves with something that would help them develop as an educator and benefit them, their students, and/or their faculty members. Teachers and administrators enjoyed the online workshop experience and were excited about the fact that they could fit course-work into their busy schedules. In the Google Sites workshop, educators walked away with a completed site and established a tool kit with which to maintain it. I was happy to provide an accessible way for teachers to gain this knowledge and acquire a tool that would help them on a daily basis. MassCUE is an organization that understands “busy educators” and works to help them meet their professional development needs.
About the Author: Rochelle Cooper has been a certified educator for the past 12 years. She began her teaching career as a special education 1:1 aide and spent the next 10 years as a 5th grade classroom teacher at Lynnfield Middle School. She is currently an Educational Consultant specializing in Digital Learning, STEM Initiative, and Elementary Mathematics instruction.