A much deserved winter break is upon us. Winter break is a great time to relax and take your mind off work for while. As educators, though, we don't truly ever completely disconnect. Throughout vacation time, I am pretty sure, most educators will have many thoughts about "that one kid" they still struggle reaching or see something on TV that will spark an idea for an engaging activity. I am willing to bet good money that if you're reading this, you are one of those educators.
Winter break is a great time to refill your educator cup with some professional learning. This doesn't mean you need to attend a conference or read a "textbook-like" book. It is simple is going online and surfing Facebook. This can be done in comfy clothes, with your favorite beverage hand and music in the background, all from the comfort of your own home. Facebook is more than just people posting political rants and pictures of their kids. Some of the best educators on earth are on Facebook sharing their knowledge for free. Below are some of my favorite education Facebook Groups. I encourage you to check them out.
This group is moderated by the amazing Sarah Thomas
. Sarah is a regional edtech coordinator from the Washington, DC area. EDUMatch is a network designed to "match" you with like minded educators to build your PLN. In addition, EDUMatch publishes some amazing education books. Click here to find the EDUMatch group on Facebook.
Site Leads Connect:
I may be a little biased, but this group is moderated by my wife Katherine Goyette
. It is an offshoot of her Google Certified Innovator project of the same name. It is a network for instructional leaders to connect and share ideas. Principals, district level admin, coaches and more are invited to join and share insights. Contact Katherine through this group for her to do a 15 minute insight interview with you. Insight interviews are curated on the Site Leads Connect website. Click here to find Site Leads Connect on Facebook.
Facebook for Education Group:
Believe it or not, Facebook has an education division called Facebook for Education. They have an app called Workplace that mimics Facebook, but is built for collaboration among colleagues at a school or district. This group is a great forum for ideas and trends in education. Click here to the Facebook for Education Group.
Future Ready Instructional Coaches:
This group is a great forum for cutting edge ideas and resources for instructional coaches. If you are a new coach, this is the place for you to connect and learn. If you're an administrator, this place is a great resource for ideas on how to maximize the effectiveness of your coaches. If you're a teacher, and you are looking how to better connect with your coach, this is a place for you. Click here to find the Future Ready Instructional Coaches Group on Facebook.
CUE (Computer Using Educators):
CUE is one of the largest edtech communities in the nation. The annual spring conference in Palm Springs attracts 6-7 thousand educators from across the nation. At this event, you can learn from some of the biggest names in edtech. CUE is more than just a conference. It is a community of innovative, life-long learners committed to improving pedagogy. CUE frequently holds district or school sized events called CUE Rockstar Camps in addition to local affiliates hosting annual symposiums and tech fests. If you're interested in CUE, join this group and find your local affiliate at cue.org
. Click here to find CUE on Facebook.
The Suite Talk:
If you're looking for cutting edge ideas for using Google Suite for Education, this is the place. This page is hosted by the innovative Kim Mattina.
Kim also hosts the Suite Talk Podcast. On the podcast and the Facebook group, amazing educators are sharing their best practices and coolest ideas using GSuite. This is a private group so you will have to ask the join. Click here to find the Suite Talk on Facebook.
EdTechTeam Global Community:
EdTechTeam is a worldwide organization for professional learning for edtech and more. EdTechTeam hosts summits all year across the planet. You can find them and their stable of world renowned presenters at most big conferences. Join this community to connect with some of the brightest minds in edtech. Click here to find the EdTechTeam Global Community on Facebook.
This list is just some of my favorite groups. There are tons more covering all subject areas and grade levels. My list doesn't even scratch the surface. Take some time this winter break, find the groups that interest you and build that network. Like Joe Marquez
says, "Education is a team sport." We are meant to work together, not in silos.