School Recess – Time for Learning

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We all deserve rest, relaxation and some time off. Educators are working during class time, before and always in late hours, correcting, planning, preparing, researching. So, yes, school recess is certainly a time of a certain relief and a bit of goofing off. However, after reenergizing a bit, meeting friends and family, taking care of our more mundane daily lives, celebrating the end of the year, you might feel ready and eager to learn something new, to connect, network with other like-minded professionals. Numerous free professional development opportunities are available online, and you can take courses in the comfort of your home, at the most convenient time for you.

One of these amazing PD programs that is dear to my heart is the Electronic Village Online. I’ve been involved in the organization of the sessions, mentoring new trainers, designing and moderating EVO sessions for many years. In 2014, I had to take a break, but the Coordinating Team worked in full steam, and the lineup of online sessions is just incredible, ranging from the Flipped Classroom to Minecraft, MOODLE, the creation of digital books, among others. Registration starts on Jan 5th, 2015. All the information about sessions and moderators is available at https://evosessions.pbworks.com .

Another place that offers amazing courses, some paid, others free, is NovoED. The platform has partnerships with many renowned higher-ed institutions, offering a rich variety of learning experiences. One of the only MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) I’ve ever finished was there. The platform is intuitive, well-designed, and I felt compelled to finish the tasks up to the end with the support of the group I was part of. Check the courses at https://novoed.com/courses . I’m even thinking of taking the Storytelling for Change.

If you are considering just a very informal approach to learning, how about signing up for Podcasts in the educational field and listening to them for some free minutes in your recess? I love podcasts because they are all in my cellphone. I carry them in my pocket (or should I say in my purse?) and I listen to them while driving. How do you subscribe to podcasts? Just look for a Podcast app and subscribe to the podcasts you want to listen to. They will come straight to your mobile device once there are new ones.

Here are some in my playlist:

Pushing the Edge
NPR TED Radio Hour (one of my favorite!)
The EdReach Network podcasts (there are many)
House of Ed Tech

These are just some of the podcast I listen to when I’m commuting. How about you? Which ones are on your playlist or are you willing to start following?

The paths for learning are yours. They can range from more formal to totally informal, at times even a bit anarchic. The important thing is to rest our mind, body and soul and also give some room for self-evolvement in our professional lives. Enjoy your school break and have a glorious beginning of a new promising year.

Carla Arena

Carla Arena is a social entrepreneur, educator by choice. She left a promising career in the public service to become an English teacher and got the chance to take roles she could have never imagined, such as site content manager at the Binational Center she worked for, Casa Thomas Jefferson. There, she was also the Supervisor of Educational Technology, and more recently Coordinator of Innovation and Technologies. Carla is a Google Innovator and educational technology consultant. Currently she innovates in her own business, AMPLIFICA (https://amplifica.org).

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