Educators around the world are being challenged to engage their students in active learning, and current access to mobile devices is proving to be a major way to do so. Teachers are discovering a wide variety of instructional apps that are both exciting and meet specific instructional objectives. So why shouldn’t educators tap into these mobile devices themselves for their own learning, their own professional development?
“Anytime, anywhere” takes on new meaning with the advent of mobile technologies. It’s a matter of knowing where to look for the professional development an individual wants or needs at any given time. Today we are the constructors of our own knowledge. We set goals for what we want to learn and how we want to learn it. We no longer need to depend on others to offer us a menu of options but can seek “just in time” solutions for ourselves.
So where can you start? First, have you downloaded the Verizon Thinkfinity Community App for your device? Add the app and you’ll have 24/7 access to our Community. Here you can join with other like-minded educators to learn how to use your mobile device, locate a resource that supports one of your Common Core Standards, discuss issues that really matter in your classroom, or get suggestions and help on something you really need to know now. Mobile devices provide immediate access to search tools, PLN’s (Professional Learning Networks) such as Thinkfinity’s PLC, webinars, how-to documents, and videos that can be viewed multiple times. Here’s an example of a video posted by a member in the Help Center about transferring pictures and videos on Smartphones. If you are new to the Thinkfinity Community, come explore our free, self-paced, non-graded PLC course designed to introduce you to all Thinkfinity has to offer.
You can discover how others are using Twitter (Thirty Interesting Ways to Use Twitter) or Skype (Have You Heard of Skype’s Teacher Directory) as they try to meet the demands of the curriculum, while serving students who are already comfortable using these tools, to foster deeper understanding of instructional concepts.
With this new school year just getting started, take some time to map out what you hope to achieve with your own professional growth this year.
Be sure to
- Visit the Thinkfinity Community and browse Places for a group to join. Use the search filters to locate a group that interests you.
- Create your own group and invite colleagues to join to exchange ideas and find solutions to common problems. View this “How-To” document about Groups.
- Watch a recorded webinar that informs you of new ideas or resources. There are several webinars available on a variety of mobile device topics!
- Discover how to integrate an electronic resource by reviewing the Verizon Thinkfinity Integration Framework.
- Learn how to find appropriate instructional resources currently offered by our Content Partners to support specific Common Core Standards.
The Verizon Foundation and Thinkfinity are dedicated to supporting your professional growth this year. Come join us for an exciting year of discovery and learning!
Additional blog by Verizon Education Blogger, Pati Terry: