“What can I learn this vacation break?” As a lifelong learner, I like to ask myself this question when I have some spare time. Balance quiet family moments this holiday with anytime, anywhere learning. Below, you will find suggestions for self-paced professional learning this winter break. These will deepen your technological and pedagogical knowledge without impacting your budget.
Did you know? Join the December 27-29, 2016 EdCamp Voxer event, 100% audio and mobile, available for free! Find out more!
Microsoft Education Community
The self-paced classes available will garner you badges and certificates you can print and share. In a profound way, these courses deepen your understanding of teaching and learning with technology in your classroom. Take these three steps to maximize your holiday learning.
Step 1 – Get a free account.
Your first step involves setting yourself up with a Microsoft Education Community account. Don’t lose your username and password. Some of the options that you have include a free Microsoft account (you can create one with your Gmail or Apple email account), Twitter, Facebook, and Office 365 account connected to work.
Step 2 – Select topics of interest.
Once you are logged in, you’ll see a menu bar running down the left side of the screen featuring several links. Click on the Badges and Points to see what options are available.
Recommendations for Microsoft classes are shown below, followed by more courses focused on pedagogy:
Microsoft Office Tools
- Teacher Academy Windows 10 – A straightforward overview of Windows 10, great for newbies. You will earn 3,000 points and a badge for completing the course.
- Teacher Academy OneNote – This provides some great insights into using OneNote, a collaboration tool that is available free to all. You will earn a badge and 3,000 points.
- Digital Inking and Surface – Learn about digital inking and how the MS Surface Pro tablet can make learning more engaging. You will earn a badge.
- Teacher Academy: Office 365 – Did you just get a free Office 365 account through work or on your own as a teacher? This course will help you create, edit, share, and work with others using Office Online, Outlook, and Skype for Business. Earn a badge and 3,000 points.
Enhancing Teaching and Learning with Technology
- 21st Century Learning Design – This 20-hour course combines eight courses with 4-6 lessons each. You will earn a badge, certificate and have a better understanding of the learning that is possible in today’s classroom.
- Digital Citizenship – Explore digital citizenship concepts and become a confident digital citizenship champion. You will earn 500 points for this course and it will only take 30 minutes to complete.
- Technology-Enriched Instruction – Learn more about TPACK, 21st Century Learning Design, and how to integrate technology into your classroom. This three-hour course will earn you 3,000 points and a badge.
- Amplifying Student Voice – In this course, you will explore how to amplify student voice through the lens of research, practice, and integration frameworks. Tools like Skype, Flipgrid.com, and Sway will be used. You will earn 500 points for completing this course.
- PDLN Connect, Communicate and Collaborate – Visit classrooms that have set norms for cooperation and collaboration. You’ll see how technology can expand the walls of your classroom. Earn 500 points for this one-hour course.
Learn More About Coding
If you’re interested in developing your coding chops, then definitely check out Prepare to Teach Creative Coding Through Games and Apps. Join the TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE) Facebook group (with 210+ members) to tap into a dynamic community!
Step 3 – Share Your Learning
Take a moment to share your learning insights via a blog entry, record a voxercast and tweet it, or present at the next staff meeting. Principals could certainly create a Padlet to facilitate sharing.
Did you know? Ditch That Textbook Digital Seminars are available for free. Go to the site and click “Today’s Speaker” to learn something.
TCEA Professional Learning
Need more human interaction? Check out all the available options at TCEA.org. These for-cost options feature TCEA Professional Development directors to support your learning efforts. Here are a few certification courses:
- 21st Century Administrator Certification – Learn what you need to be successful in a campus leadership role.
- Campus Technology Specialist Certification – Understand the tools and processes to better engage students and increase relevant technology utilization in the classroom.
- IT/Technology Director Certification – Become an effective district leader and support administrators, teachers, and students in the use of technology.
- Chromebook Certification (Level 1) – Dig deeper in their utilization of Google Apps for Education tools.
- iPad Certification (Level 1) – Build a solid foundation for integrating the iPad in your classroom by participating in this certification.
Mapping your holiday learning gets easier every day. Treat yourself with anytime, anywhere learning!