Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's Your Challenge?

I am a firm believer that YOU are in control of your own professional development.  Whether you sign up for a meeting of interest, participate in a Twitter chat, attend an EdCamp or convention of choice, or partake in an online opportunity it is YOU who should decide on your professional development needs. 

When the ThingLink Teacher Challenge came through my personal learning network (PLN) at the beginning of the summer, I knew this was an awesome tool that needed further investigation so I eagerly joined a global network of learners for 10 weeks of collecting, curating, and sharing interactive images. The awesome Susan Oxnevad, author of Cool Tools for 21st Century  Learners, managed the TLChallenge communicating through a blog, Twitter, email, and Google+.  The challenge didn’t stop while I was traveling because I picked up my iPad and continued on.  I absolutely love the ease of this tool plus the new video platform.  It is rumored that  there will be "many more education features and functionality improvements coming in the next months."

What did I bring away from this experience?  
I had ready-made tools for professional development workshops, projects promoting literacy to share with my students, interactive maps to help our summer reading program, eContent tutorials, and expertise to introduce a new tool to my teachers and students.  I also had the privilege to have projects highlighted in the article The Global Search for Education: Pictures With Links and attend a freeThingLink webinar.  I hope to continue to add to my ThingLink projects and collaborate with those in the Challenge.

I chose this virtual experience that was well worth the 10 weeks of knowledge that I will bring back to my school and learning community for this coming year.  I am now in the 2nd week of the Edublogs Teacher Challenge with the amazing Sue Waters and I know this will be as extraordinary  as my summer challenge. What goals have you set for yourself and what professional development opportunities will you choose in the new school year?


  1. I am doing the Edublogs Teacher Challenge, too. My favorite professional development is my involvement with the National Writing Project. Good job adding links to your post. I had never heard of ThingLink before. Thank you for the introduction.

  2. I love ThingLink and the Challenge was amazing. Glad to help you connect with a new tool!


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