Personalize your Professional Development

There is a great post over at Edudemic that lists 4 tools for personalizing your professional development. They are:

  1. Join Twitter
  2. Webinars
  3. Edcamps
  4. In house

I think it’s a great list and I’d edit it just a bit.

I’d change ‘Join Twitter’ to ‘Join social networks (and keep them organized)’. What do I mean by that? Well, being on every social network is not going to help you – but creating groups, lists, and/or circles to organize your professional contacts will help you weed out the games and family drama from the useful resources and links your colleagues share online.

Image from Edudemic
I really have nothing to add to ‘Webinars’, they’re a great way to get affordable education right from your desk or home. I offer them all the time and really should take more of them 🙂 I guess I could add that you can look for archived webinars or lectures or talks from conferences (like TED Talks) and watch those if you can’t make a scheduled webinar.

And since most of my audience here are librarians and I’m a librarian I’d change ‘Edcamps’ to ‘Libcamps’ 🙂 But really you can find any type of unconference in your area or just join an informal group that gets together once in a while to talk about a topic you’d like to learn more about. My husband started one of these in our house! He gets together with a group of game developers, editors, and writers in the area and they all talk about the field and share their experiences with each other.

Which is a great segway in to ‘In-House’! I totally agree on this point – we need to talk more amongst ourselves in our institutions and share our knowledge with each other. No one person can know everything there is to know about the job they’re doing, but they work with people who can help them – use those people!

Whatever method you choose – you have to keep learning! It’s an ever changing profession (and an ever changing world) and if you don’t keep up with what’s going on around you you’re going find yourself feeling overwhelmed when change comes to your institution.

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