What are the most important things you've done this past year for your personal and professional growth?

I'm interested in what activities or resources have really helped you discover your passions or have allowed you to make significant personal or professional growth.

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Well, hopefully this positive comment will empower you even more, since you should feel really good about your contributions!  Way to go--on everything!  Seems like you're making a real difference.

I was really inspired by Jeff Corwin's talk at PETE&C in February.  He got his passion for nature as a child and it made me think of how important this time is in the lives of my students.  They are developing their passions and it is our job to give them what they need and then let them have the freedom to explore.  I have been trying to focus on helping students apply what they learn in my science class to issues in the world, but next year I want to expand to actually taking action with those issues.  For example, this year we learned about some harmful chemicals in our environment but next year I'd like to find ways to help make others aware of these chemicals or to urge our government to take action.  This year we did a video conference with a museum to learn about oil spills and spill clean-up but next year I would want to expand that lesson to see how we could help clean up the water in our area.  The most important thing I've done is to try to follow Jeff's call to "educate people so they will be able to make good decisions" when it comes to our environment.

Terrific stuff.  How did you make the connection with the museum?  Did they have a formal program for this, or did you reach out to them?
I found them through CILC (http://www.cilc.org/) where they list video conference providers.  Our district recently got a grant and the equipment for distance learning.  The video conference was interactive and we even did a lab (they supplied the materials too!)  The museum is the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton OH.  Here is a link to a short video clip from our video conference if you are interested!  http://www.youtube.com/user/Team8Blue?feature=mhum#p/u/1/f28XI7I-GP4
So cool.  I was interested!  And the lab materials... amazing.  Would Skype have worked in that situation, or is there more capability needed?
It may have worked but she wouldn't have been able to see our whole group.  The picture was very clear and she used a document camera and slides as well as just a camera on herself.  I would recommend the experience to any teacher!
Last year I took up a Graduate Certificate course in Educational Technology from Michigan State Technology with 9 Masters level credits and it was well worth the time spent. I had the exposure to not only some great educational tools and resources but it helped me develop a solid and broad outlook on technology integration in classrooms. After a planned break from now until the fall in terms of continued academic learning, I intent to take it up further to complete the MA in Ed Tech over the next couple of years.

Whoa...great question!



I'll echo what has already been said...Twitter is easily one of the best professional growth opportunities of my career.  The people I have connected with have become some of my most important teachers that I would never have "met" before the advent of technology.  Powerful.  Powerful.  Powerful.


Powerful Learning Practice

I just finished my third year as a member of PLP with Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and Will Richardson.  These two people have cracked open the world for me.  I have a much deeper understanding of what it means to be a learner, something I don't think I truly understood until this experience.  The concept of immersing adults in powerful learning opportunities is a model I try to replicate with the teachers I work with from my district.


Wilkes University

I will complete my Master's in Instructional Media from Wilkes University in August.  Wilkes has partnered with Discovery Education and serves up some really interesting courses: Cognition and Technology; Inquiry-based Learning; Differentiation Supported by Technology; Digital Storytelling; Project-based Learning to name a few. Again, I love that we utilized the tools we were learning about to help support and enhance our own learning. 


I so appreciate this thread, though, because I now have one more place to connect with others as we grow alongside each other.  Thanks, Steve!

I also did PLP for one year and it was a great experience!  It took me to a new place in sharing what I learn with other teachers.

Good afternoon Steve.


I'm new today to your site.  Looks great.  For my personal growth I enrolled in a university level masters class for Instructional Technology.  The class was an overview of the field and one of the prerequisites for the degree program.  Unfortunately, I pulled what could be perceived by some as some negative experiences from the class.  But a positive outcome I got was that I don't want an advanced degree in Instructional Technology.


Currently, I develop, I teach, I use a host of softwares.  I'm proficient and prolific in online delivery methods.  I'm not interested in writing studies, or writing books, or generating residual income from selling advertising on blogs or websites.  I am interested in learning how learners learn best on the Internet.


So the class helped me to discover my passions and motives.  I guess that was the best thing I did for personal growth this past year.

Terrific. I'm interested in the things you identified that you are not interested in.  Were they part of the masters class?  I would not have guessed that.

Steve, thanks for your reply.


  I also can understand where your coming from.  The professor I had was an interesting sort.  She was a developer for a while and always spouted how she couldn't make Flash work.  She was frustrated as a developer.  So as an alternate career path she gravitated to acadamia.  You do make more money teaching at the university level.  You do have more opportunity to get published and write studies with the "subject pools" you have access to as a university instructor.

  But she missed something.  She couldn't lead us into any research or practical experience on what works.  Only her "thoughts".  I guess I'm looking for a Web based "Holy Grail" for being an effective on-line instructional professional.





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