Summer Learning - Lifelong Learners Wanted

Have you started a countdown to summer break? How will you grow as a teacher and learner this summer?

Teachers work hard. Many of us work too hard. We do deserve a break. We deserve to escape our scheduled lives this summer. It is ok to disconnect and take a break during the summer, but the best educators are life-long learners. They do not spend the entire summer disengaged from learning. 

How will you recharge this summer, but still find the time to grow as a teacher and leader? This post has some tips and resources to support educators as lifelong learners this summer. 

Attend a Local Conference
Find at least one conference this summer to attend, learn, and make new connections. Maybe even challenge yourself to present somewhere? If you can't attend, mark your calendar and jump into the Hashtag during the conference. Here are a few local conferences I will be attending as both a learner and a facilitator. 

Enroll in a Face to Face or Online Class
Sometimes it is important to become a student again and engage in a curriculum lead by another educator. The type of class doesn't necessarily matter as long as you are learning something new. One of my favorite experiences as an adult learner has been the EdTechTeams Teacher Leader Cohorts. I am even jumping into the Teacher Leader 2 Course this summer. Here are some great online courses you might want to explore. 

Make Connections & Share Ideas
If you are already engaged in Twitter, Facebook, Voxer, Google + or someplace else as a learner, set aside an hour or two each week to learn something new. If you have not taken a dive in social learning why not get started this summer? Here are a few resources to help:

Read a Book Connected to Teaching and Learning
Educators are writing some incredible books. Find a book that catches your interest and explore. Here are a few resources to help:

Explore Blogs Connected to Teaching and Learning
Many educational blogs slow down a bit over the summer, but most keep posting. You can always set aside an hour each week to explore the archives of a favorite blog. You might even consider starting your own blog? Blogging is a great tool for reflection. Here are a few resources to help:

Bonus: Find a good Podcast, Listen and Learn. Matt Miller has a great list of Podcasts under number 3 in this post

What summer learning tips do you have for educators?

Question of the Week - Things That Make You Go Hmmm?

Questions Are More Important Than Answers!

Don't get me wrong, I love to solve problems and discover answers, but too often the joy of discovery is short lived when finding the answer is an endpoint. I always hope to find answers that lead to more curious questions. In my world, the best questions lead to more questions before, during, and after my exploration of the original question.

Why am I sharing this?

Today, I was inspired by ESPN's Golic and Wingo Show to start something new on Tuesdays. I was listening to the radio on my way to work and they were playing a game that had something to do with NBA ping pong balls, questions, and candy this question came up: 

If you could only listen to one musical group for the rest of your life, who would it be? Why?
My first thought was that this is a great question. I didn't know who I would pick, so this led me to ask more questions about who and why I would chose my musical group. I asked my office mates the same question and our conversation led us further down a path of exploration and discovery connected to why each of us would make the choices we would make. This one question led us to so many great questions and answers. I was smiling ear to ear. 

I will be asking my students the same question today. My guess is their musical preferences will lead me in a different direction. 

I don't know that this new idea of a question a week on my blog will lead to new innovations, or even how long it will last. I am hoping that it inspires brainstorming, conversations, and creative exploration for anyone who reads this post. I am also hoping we can have some fun with it. 

Each Tuesday I will share a question that I hope will inspire you to share your thoughts and maybe explore something new. Please share your answer and your why in the comments below or using the Hashtag 

If you have a great question that I can ask, please DM me on Twitter. Full credit will be given for all questions that I share. 

I don't want to bias your choices so I will share my exploration and final answer and why in the comments on Friday. 

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