student teacher by peiqianlong
Blogs, Twitter, and social networks are making it easier to network with and learn from other educators, but for the most part they don't allow for actual observation. Lately, however, I've been able to get in some virtual classroom observations and it's been great! This past year I've taken a number of week long on-line professional development classes through KnowSchools. In addition, I've been training to be an assistant facilitator for KnowSchools which has allowed me an inside peek as to how the different facilitators organize and run their week long classes. The classes are done using Moodle and it has been fascinating to see how the different facilitators make use of the different features in Moodle. So I'm learning about some great ways to improve my teaching practice and I'm getting to observe talented educators and how they teach.
I've also participated in some virtual PD offered in Elluminate Live from a variety of sources; today I popped in (briefly) to Classroom 2.0's weekly show. I use Elluminate Live with my distributed learning students so whenever I'm in a session that someone else is moderating I'm looking for good ideas that I can steal! It's also good to experience an Elluminate Live session as a participant. It reminds me that it is boring just to sit and listen to the moderator; I need to give my students an active way to participate and discuss ideas and I need to engage them with good visuals.
Do you take the opportunity to observe your colleagues as they teach? If so, how do you make time to do this? Do you prefer live and in person, or virtual observations? I'd love to hear from you :-)