“What did you learn at your conference Mr. Hoganson?” This was the first question I was asked by my grade 8 class when I recently returned from the Google Summit in Edmonton, Alberta. Seeing they were actually interested, I began to go through some of the new apps and extensions I picked up. I quickly realized that I had learned more than I thought. It got me thinking, “Why do I believe in professional development and conferences, and what do I get out of them?”
- Seeing what other educators are doing with their students.
- What new strategies can I take back to help my students?
- How can I change my pedagogy?
- Collaborating with other educators/leaders.
- Networking and making contacts that will last a lifetime.
It goes without saying that I believe in professional development in all its forms, whether it be in-school by your colleagues, at division meetings, attending conferences or using Twitter to connect with other teachers and leaders. Although I have embraced and work fluently in the digital world, I still enjoy sitting and hearing what others have to say, the face to face interaction and the invaluable networking that takes place. I hope educators continue to take advantage of all the professional development opportunities that are available to them and actively seek to learn and grow.