I've been known to go way off the beaten path to learn new stuff. Though I own a GoPro camera I'm not too into extreme things to do. Extreme for me means going the (usually long) distance to connect with people and their ideas and ways of doing.
PD Is People
The past year or so my professional development (PD) has come from sharing ideas and ways of doing with other educators far from my home.
Yesterday, for example, I participated in EdCampUCLACenterX in Pico Rivera, California. The school where it took place was an hour's drive from the town where I grew up. The school's architecture and layout reminded me a lot of good 'ol Colton High. Someday I'd like to participate in an EdCamp there. Who knows?
That's why I go the distance for PD: lots and lots of diverse perspectives in safe and familiar environments. Yesterday during the Technology and other checking for understanding session I was asked how different the EdCamps I've been to are from each other. I replied that the focus of the sessions changes. Or maybe because it's the times that are changing. Certainly the district and state environment affect what teachers are interested in learning.
I love meeting new people. I worry sometimes that I might be a little annoying, as I like taking a lot of pictures. I generally ask permission, at least of those nearby.
One thing I think that most everyone I've met at the PD events I've gone to in the last year (DevLearn, EdCamps, COMPILE) share is the need to keep the conversations going. "How do we maintain the relationship?
This guy: Jed Butler knows Twitter PD.
In the space of about 20 minutes he spun the most amazing series of short stories about how Twitter PD changed his life and how it can change ours. He took us step by step from starting, to sharing, while pointing out some awesome resources like Cybraryman1's site along the way
I'm hoping to be able to visit Austin, TX next week for EdCampATX and Los Angeles early next year for EdcampLA. Then there's the San Diego CUE but it's the same day as EdCampATX. Try and go out and meet some people: learn something new whilst growing your personal learning network (PLN).