I'm a firm believer that conversations are one of the richest forms of professional development that teachers can engage in, and if the first hours of the new year are any indication, there will be many opportunities to participate in synchronous learning adventures with teachers both locally and globally.
A Few Examples in the last 24 Hours
Yesterday, Will Richardson invited the Twittersphere to expand a conversation that had its origin in Twitter. Visit the archived Illuminate session to see how the back-channel discussion was easily as rich and compelling as the audio commentary! It was one example of how an interactive web meeting might well trump any other form of P.D.
At exactly the same time, Steve Hargadon was hosting a Classroom 2.0 2008 Wrap-up and New Year's Party to highlight the new ideas, techniques, tools, books, and conversations around educational technology that made 2008 special. It serves as another rich example of how other educators were harnessing interactive, synchronous tools to share their learning with other interested educators.
Expanding the Audience
While many conferences and live presentations have been publicized via Twitter, the potential audience for these events goes far beyond the micro-blogging community. The Classroom 2.0 Calendar has a fairly rich menu of live online events, and I'm wondering if we might all leverage such a space to encourage others to join the discussion.
Do you know of other opportunities for teachers to 'learn in sync'?
Image Credit: Thanks to Wesley Fryer and Alec Couros for licensing their images for remixing. The resulting image that I created is similarly licensed with a Canadian 2.5 Noncommercial-Share Alike Creative Commons License