Four days into my short vacation, here I am sipping on a Starbucks lime refresher and packing my tote for tomorrow’s unconference. “Whoa, wait a minute, Cheska. Don’t tell me you’re going to PD on your vacation! Unpaid? Voluntarily?” you ask, punctuating with gasps.
Why yes, dear reader, indeed I am. Back in June, a friend forwarded an email about a free multi-day symposium on games in education held at Sage College, in Troy, NY. Given that I didn’t have to fly or drive out of state for it, I jumped on the opportunity and registered for the event. There are many reasons why I want to attend: I want to find more resources I can use to amp up student motivation and engagement in the science classroom; I want more ideas on how I can differentiate science instruction especially for students with learning needs; and I want to incorporate more STEM and get more of my female students involved in the design process.
Simply put, however, I am a PD junkie. Since my first effort earlier this year to attend more workshops and conferences as part of one of my teaching goals, I have been hooked! It’s true that I love interacting with other educators via Twitter chats, Ning discussion forums, webinars, and other forms of informal PD. Taking the step, however, to attending face-to-face workshops, meetups, and unconferences add another dimension to informal PD. It’s electrifying to be in a room with excited and passionate educators. I learn so much by listening, discussing, and interacting–it’s energizing, and completely addicting. As much as I like having time off and getting time to just relax, I like being exposed to new people and new ideas even more. I like brainstorming ideas on what I can take back to the classroom and how I can improve as a teacher.
So yes, even though I am on vacation, I am going to PD and getting my learning fix on. If you are in the area and will be attending #GiE, send me a tweet at @MissCheska!
Here’s a list of tentative sessions I have my eye on for the next two days:
- What? How? Why? Teaching with Digital Games in the Classroom
- Surrounding Commercial Games with Academic Learning
- Playing with Misconceptions: Using Digital Games and Interactive Metaphors in the Science Classroom
- Video Game Design: From ICT to Inquiry
- 3D Models: The Cloud, Constellations, and the Solar System
What are your thoughts on teacher PD as a recreational activity?