Experiential learning resources for the innovative educator
Ed Web: Free Education Webinars for Professional Development
Yay! Here we are, my first blog post ever! I'm oddly nervous, but feel confident because I've chosen the mother of all online education resources to start us off. Edweb. It is exactly what it sounds like. It's a website loaded with FREE webinars for educators. The best part? You earn a certificate for participating that can be counted toward clock hours for licensure renewal. Major bonus.
When I decided to leave my job and stay home with my children for the year, I started getting a little panicky about how I was going to earn those hours. When I was working, professional development was arranged by and paid for my employer. Once home, It was a challenge to find CEU opportunities within my meager stay-at-home-mom budget and jam packed schedule. I found 1 hour seminars for $50 online, or two week long courses at local Universities. That's all fine for some, but I need to stretch every dollar and every hour. I'm spread thin as it is, which I believe is probably the case for most teachers and stay-at-home-parents. I stumbled upon Edweb and have since participated in about 10, free, live webinars, all of which were pretty genius.
You can be really flexible with Edweb. You create your schedule. You participate in webinars that work for you. And the best part? You can engage from the comfort of your own home. I have been able to sneak a few sessions in here and there while my youngest is napping. If you're a teacher, you could easily participate in a few webinars over spring or winter breaks, or during a prep hour if you have a little extra time. Each webinar is only an hour. There have been times that I have been in the middle of a webinar and something came up. I can pause it and come back later, because all live sessions are recorded. You can go back and watch from thousands of recorded webinars that have been archived and made available for viewing. The downside to watching the recorded version is that you don't get to be a part of the webinar. With live webinars you can participate (or not, if that's not your thing). You can make comments, ask questions, and start dialogue with people from across the globe. Community collaboration opens so many doors for you as a teacher and for your students. Live webinars make this possible.
One fantastic element to this resource is that the webinars are diverse. I can pick and choose the webinars that fit my philosophy, teaching style and interests. I am interested in project-based learning, social-emotional learning and STEM. There is no shortage of webinars on each of these subjects. In Minnesota there are specific requirements for licensure renewal aside from clock hours in your subject area. Examples include suicide prevention best practices, positive behavioral intervention strategies, and reading preparation. Edweb has webinars for each of these subjects. Edweb is where I have learned about some of the resources I will share with you here in the future. The webinars on Edweb are chosen because they are innovative ideas that address the most-cutting edge educational research. Every time I complete a webinar, a part of me wishes I was still teaching so that I could implement a suggested strategy, activity or idea in my teaching. The webinars light a fire under my ass, which is especially fantastic come February in Minnesota when I need a little light and inspiration. For now, I file notes and ideas away until I go back to work, at which point I'll have a large stockpile of material to test out.
One final bonus - and I swear I am not getting paid by Edweb to say these things - very little energy on my part needs to be put into explaining the Edweb website, because it is so user-friendly! You create an account. That's about as difficult as it gets! The rest is just selecting from the plethora of fantastic webinar topics, viewing or participating in the webinar of choice, and printing your CEU certificate to file away for safe keeping.
If you have read the Who We Are section of this blog you know now that I won't be boasting about just any old educational resources on this blog that can be found online. In other words, I likely wouldn't share a resource that is loaded with worksheets. I will post and share educational resources that emphasize innovation, inquiry, experiential learning opportunities and community collaboration. I think Edweb encompasses these ideas. There is an optional element to Edweb, that you can opt in if you choose, or not if it's not your thing. Right on the homepage there is a tab at the top titled "Join a Community". I for example am part of the "Teach and Travel" community. I am notified when there is an upcoming webinar on student travel. I participate in live forums on occasion with other members of this community where we share ideas and tips on various student travel related topics such as great fundraiser ideas. Some of the best lessons or learning experiences I have done with my students were ideas that came from other educators. Sharing our resources, bouncing ideas off of each other and ultimately supporting one another is essential for happy, healthy, productive, effective and caring educators. Let's face it. The teacher survival rate is grim. Teaching seems to be a revolving door with the the standing statistic that 40-50% of new teachers leave the field within the first 5 years. Often times, as we have all experienced, we feel underpaid and undervalued. Edweb helps ameliorate these effects by building a community of teachers to support one another. Working in a community school for the bulk of my career has opened my eyes to the advantages these connections present, for students and educators. If you choose to "join a community", your level of involvement is entirely up to you.
Edweb is loaded with innovative webinars, valuable for you and your students. If you are looking to reinvent your teaching strategy, add a few modifications here or there, or just need a little inspiration when you're feeling stuck, Edweb is a great go-to resource. Register for a webinar, or join a community and start a forum to get a little insight and encouragement. I hope you're able to use it if for nothing else to just get some CEU clock hours. I hope to run into some of you in an Edweb forum! Good luck to you all. Stay tuned for a post on another great resource!
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My Edweb Transcript
Observe. Question. Explore. Share.
To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.