The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Challenge 14 Challenged Based Professional Development

E-Learning – course delivery and online conferences

Online course delivery is a practical, convenient, and affordable way to deliver Professional Development (PD) opportunities. This PD method also offers flexible time to finish course and no classroom attendance.  Teacher can start anywhere, at anytime, and from anyplace.  They may also learn independently and at their own pace. Some courses offer expert authors and world renowned authorities on teaching and learning.  Collaboration can be conducted through online discussions.

With advances in technology, online conferences can give people the ability to actively participate in conferences no matter where they are in the world. Online conferences make it easy for people to gather together to discuss issues and make decisions quickly.  By offering online conferences for PD, more people can attend because the can join in the comfort of their home, office, or anywhere else.  Software programs and technology can also allow attendees to record meetings for those who were unable to attend and to allow for a review of what was discussed.

Blended Learning - A blended learning approach combines face to face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities to form an integrated instructional approach. This instructional approach has the advantage of offering students flexibility and convenience.

Educational Networks – Often times offer free in person and online workships and training opportunities for educators.

Speed Round Presenting and Participation –

Speed Round Presenting – Where participants are timed to give information or speech according to rules and are usually timed and shared.  This type of presentation takes advantage of a human’s natural attention span.

Speed Round Audience Participation – Where participants share what they have learned in a two or three minute time span. 

Just in Time Profession Development – PD that is available in forms where the teacher can receive the answers and learning resources when on needs it and is ready.

Online Volunteerism – Where volunteers can be used as experts in projects.

Un-Conferences – are participant driven, self-organized session where anyone can post what she or he wishes to present. The session with the most votes is held and those without are removed from the program. It also gives the chance for those not presenting to share and lead sessions.

Special Interest “Areas’ At Face-to-Face Conferences – Encourages participants to meet for spontaneous presentations on hot topics.

Challenge-Based Conferencing – Participants carry out a challenge that spans the entire conferences by engaging in shore  intermittent presentations so that they can understand the skills required for that project.

The Hidden Conference at a Conference – Using social media to share what is happening behind the scenes of a conference hidden from view by those who are not connected.   

The obstacles to embedding PD in a teacher’s weekly practice include a lack of vision and planning as well as confusion of curriculum priorities.

This chapter has made me realize that there are multiple ways in which I can obtain PD, instead of just through a workshop or college course.  Therefore, I can no long say that I do not know where, how or when I can gain information and increase my professional skills as it is available to me in many different formats at anytime and anyplace.  Not only can I obtain PD independently, but this chapter helped me realize that my colleagues and I can collaborate and learn together in real time without being in a physical place such as a classroom.  Furthermore, technology can allow me to learn from the best of the best – experts in the field of teaching and learning.  I believe that creates a wonderful learning opportunity.  Who would not want to have the best teachers and mentors teaching them.   


Again, I worked with a wonderful group for Challenge 14! They were simply awesome! You can view our project at

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