Thursday, November 3, 2016

Using Padlet to Support Personal Professional Development

I love learning.

I love sharing.

I love sharing what I'm learning.

The more learning and sharing (and brainstorming and innovating and growing) I can do, the better!

I'm constantly looking to improve. I'm never satisfied with the status quo. I use social media such as Twitter and Voxer to challenge myself, to learn and to improve my professional practices. But for me, there's still nothing quite like actually attending an educational conference. It's the environment. It's the social interactions. It's being face-to-face with other passionate educators who want nothing more than to improve themselves in order to improve the educational experience for their students.

As a Teacher Librarian, I attend conferences not only to further develop my own practices, but I am always on the lookout for resources and ideas that I can share and support with my students and staff to enhance their educational experiences. I attend conferences as much for them as I do for me.

So there's always the burning question: How can I share my experiences with those who weren't there with me?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Sometimes this sharing can be a difficult. Sometimes the learning centers around new practice or tool introduced in a session. Those are easy to attribute and share. But so many times, what I take away from conferences can be more about mindset, inspiration, connections, and/or new opportunities for my students, my staff and for my library. The learning I take away from a conference may not always be obvious and easily traceable. There are so many amazing ideas shared by amazing educators. The learning I'm doing is much more subtle.

All that being said, I realized that I wanted and needed to be much more intentional and transparent about sharing my learning with my administrators, colleagues, and even my students.

To this end, I decided to utilize one of my favorite new obsessions, Padlet. While attending two fantastic conferences in the last month: ITEC (Iowa Technology Education Connection) in Des Moines and NSLA (Nebraska School Library Association) in Omaha, I created the Padlets featured below as a way to share my learning with my administrators and colleagues. I not only shared these Padlets with my administrator and specific teachers via e-mail, I also shared the links and discussed my learning during recent leadership team meetings at my building. And because sharing is caring, I've shared these Padlets with several members of my PLN. Now I'm sharing them with you!

Made with Padlet
Made with Padlet

I'm obsessed with using Padlet with my students as a way to capture and share their ideas, but this was the first time I'd used it to capture my own. I love how visual Padlet is. I love that you can add text, pictures, links, videos, etc. I love the it succinctly and efficiently organizes my learning in a way that's easy to capture and share. And I loved that it allowed me to share with my colleagues and administration in a way that will allow them to engage with my learning too.

And as an added bonus, utilizing Padlet has allowed me to continue to reflect on my learning in a more meaningful way.