If You're Good At Something, Never Do It For Free
"If You're Good At Something, Never Do It For Free" (Joker, The Dark Knight).
Education is changing at a rapid pace. Services that once required a membership or annual fee are being offered for free. As a connected educator, I benefit from free services and resources that are available through social media, edcamp, and blogs. I am grateful for educators who are good at something and they do it for free. Here are a few examples of individuals or organizations who contribute to the field of education.
From Bloggers to Voxers
Early in my career, I remember waiting for the monthly journal to come in the mail. Blogging has opened the door for new voices in the field of education. Bloggers can post an article 24/7. Bloggers also post videos, teacher-created resources, and links to their school or personal websites. Bloggers share their perspectives on teaching and learning and they contribute to my professional growth.
Edcamps provide me with the opportunity to learn from teachers and administrators at no cost. When you enter Edcamp, you leave your title at the door. It doesn't matter if you are a superintendent, department chair, counselor, assistant principal, curriculum coordinator, or professional consultant - Once you enter an Edcamp, you are a connected educator, leader, learner, collaborator, and friend. While traditional conferences may be cost prohibitive for multiple staff members to attend, Edcamp is a free unconference designed to accomodate all educators.
David Culberhouse has shared free books with educators through his website. Scaling Creativity and Innovation, written by Cuberhouse, provides educators with a thought-provoking book. Other educators have provided infographics, videos, and resources to support teaching and learning. I am thankful that educators are willing to share their research and experiences for free.
Solution Tree provides free reproducibles at https://www.solutiontree.com/free-repros. These resources include interactive templates for teacher teams, formative assessment resources, reflective tools for teachers, and templates for supporting continuous improvement.
Online Professional Development
In December, multiple educators will host a free online conference. The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit is a nine-day, Free virtual event. It brings together some of the brightest minds in education to disuss technology, pedagogy, and more. Join the learning by registering online at http://ditchsummit.com. You can learn from a coffee shop, your living room, or your favorite chair.
Twitter Chats have transformed teaching and learning. There is a chat every day of the week. For a list of Twitter Chats for Educators, visit https://sites.google.com/site/twittereducationchats/education-chat-calendar. Twitter chats may include topics about teacher leadership, professional learning, literacy, blended learning, assessment, learning space, student voice, curriculum design, gamification, and more! Twitter chats allow me to learn anytime and anywhere. The strength of the chat comes from the participants who share their resources and experiences with the group.
Justin Baeder provides a free video series on the topic of Instructional Leadership. You can view the videos online at no cost athttp://www.eduleadership.org/highperformance. This past week, I shared this free resource with our building principals. There are educators who share resources that have a multiplying effect on teachrs, administrators, and students across the world. The resources provide practical tips for improving teaching and learning.
I continue to be amazed when educators tell me they have never heard of a tool known as Voxer. Voxer is an app that you can download to your phone or pther device. Voxer allows me to connect with educators around the United States on a daily basis. This week, I connected with educators in over 20 states. They share what they are working on as teachers, principals, or curriculum directors, and I learn from their experiences. Voxer allows me to share videos, websites, journal articles, blogs, and other resources. When one of my friends writes a new blog or has an "Aha Moment" as an educator, I am able to learn from their experience. Voxer allows educators to share the stories that were once reserved for the annual conference.
The field of education is full of leaders who are sharing their resources and tools for FREE! As you engage with other educators, you will have opportunities to share your own resources and experiences. You will grow from writing a blog, which serves as a form of reflection. Your students will benefit from what others are contributing. As we enter the end of 2017, reflect on the multiple ways you can connect and grow - For FREE!