Help Me Spend $1,000… or more!

Summer is just around the corner, and with it many fabulous conferences and professional development opportunities. I’m weighing the value of difference conferences and trainings in light of my interview experiences, and I’m not sure where to go from here. Will you help me spend $1,000…. or more?


photo credit: Tracy O

Summer is just around the corner, and with it many fabulous conferences and professional development opportunities. I’m weighing the value of difference conferences and trainings in light of my interview experiences, and I’m not sure where to go from here.  Will you help me spend $1,000…. or more? ((Remember, my goal is to be an intermediate classroom teacher in the next 1-3 years, preferably in a 1-to-1 environment. I have my BA in History, should have my Statement of Eligibility from CDE in the next couple months for Alternative Licensure, and have applied to a number of Alternative Teacher programs for next year.))

Here are some things I am considering, and a brief snippet of my rationale:

  • IB PYP: An Introduction to the Curriculum Model Training
    • $775 for conference, plus food/lodging- travel costs minimal given proximity.
    • June 29-July 7
    • Rocky Mountain Association of IB World Schools
    • Learn more about this inquiry driven model- which I already like, and increase my marketability for a position in a PYP school as an alternative teacher.
  • Technology in Education (TIE) Colorado Conference
    • $325-430, plus food/lodging- travel costs minimal given proximity.
    • June 21-24
    • TIE Colorado
    • Opportunity to network with other educators in my region. Not sure that it helps me be a better classroom teacher candidate, but the tech part is my area of expertise.
  • ISTE 2011 Conference
    • $235, plus plane ticket, food, lodging….easily $1,000
    • June 26-29
    • International Society for Technology in Education
    • Went to the 2010 conference- lots of people & info. Felt pretty overwhelming, but I learned some amazing things. Again, not sure this is helpful at this point in my career. Fun, though.
  • Upper Elementary Montessori Diploma Program
    • $2,999
    • Flexible, online
    • North American Montessori Program
    • Would have a good understanding of Montessori curriculum, philosophy and teaching methods. Might be that I stopped looking at public ed positions, and focused on private.
  • Test Evaluator Part-time Job
    • Hey- I’d actually MAKE money on this one…. $10.75/hr. (More than I make now!)
    • Evenings- family impact is huge until summer, then not a biggee.
    • Measured Progress
    • Learn lots about student writing ability/expectations, rubrics, grading, inter-rater reliability. Feels a bit hypocritical since I think standardized tests stink, but would probably be a positive experience on my resume.

What do you think would be most valuable? Any cost/benefit analysis ideas for me? Other options? If you’re an administrator, is there additional training that would help you be comfortable hiring an alternative candidate?

Double Time

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Creative Commons License photo credit: pineapple9995

I read an inordinate amount of material online in my field, primarily because it’s the only way to stay current ((by the time most books are published, ed tech is off and running in another direction)), but also because I enjoy it.  I manage that through my Google Reader feed.  I also listen to a lot of podcasts about education, teaching, and technology.  Although I can keep up pretty well with the feed reader, I have a more difficult time with the podcasts.  My favorite-don’t-miss-podcast is Steve Hargadon‘s (@stevehargadon) “The Future of Education” interview series.  I learn so much from every session.  However, each session is roughly 60 minutes long…. and my drive to/from work is about 20 minutes.  A few weeks ago, I learned a pretty neat trick from a parent.  Double time.

Did you know you can play your podcasts and audiobooks at different speeds on your iPhone/iPod?  You can. That was news to me! It’s doubled the amount of listening I am able to do, and I’m starting to catch up with my podcast backlog.  Here’s how:

  1. Open your podcast or audiobook.
  2. Locate the small box on the right under the play time bar that says “1x”.
  3. Press it to toggle between “1/2x” “1x” and “2x”.
  4. Play the podcast.
  5. Adjust the speed as necessary.

As an aside, this interview with Gary Stager@garystager was particularly interesting. Also, I quickly found that Gary speaks fast enough that I needed to take him off the “2x” mode, or else I missed things. You’ll notice that I started with teh 2x, and switched back to the 1x. It works most of the time.;)