Professional Learning

Summertime PD: Listen and Learn Through Online Chats

Summer gives teachers some well-deserved downtime. Reconnecting with friends, taking family vacations and revisiting your hobbies is so important in a profession that demands so much of you during the rest of the year. But for many educators, this down time can also provide the hours you need to revamp your teaching methods as you take advantage of this time with summer professional development.

While during the school year you probably have prescribed school in-service workshops, now you can tailor your learning to your own interests. I love to use summer learning to revive my passions and feel truly inspired. Sometimes this means venturing outside my own field and learning about something else and seeing how it can apply to my own work.

Summer Professional Development: Make sure to take some time to hangout and chat around the grill as well!

This series explores five key components of effective do-it-yourself (DIY) summer professional development that all educational professionals should consider while using summer to deepen your learning.

      • Listen and Learn Through Online Chats
      • Engage in New Learning Experiences
      • Attend Collaborative Learning Events
      • Read to Lead Your Personal Growth
      • Note and Share Your Progress


Most of us know that Twitter feeds are filled with 140 character posts often linked to more details, but have you ever been to a Twitter Chat? A Twitter Chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag that allows you to follow and participate in the discussion. They are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with those interests. If you are ready to jump in and try Twitter Chats check out the Tweet Reports Twitter Chat Schedule to find a chat about your passion or interest.


Google+ is quickly finding itself the host of a growing community of educators as well. As with Twitter, users are sharing content and ideas with one another in a professional learning network. Additionally, they are utilizing Google’s social networking platform to Hangout. A Google Hangout is a video conference with the ability to broadcast out to ten people at a time. For innovative educators seeking summer professional development, this technology has opened new opportunities to connect and grow together. Whether participating in a distance-based book study, hosting a weekly educational podcast, or simply logging on to talk informally with a few friends about what’s going on in your classrooms and schools, Google Hangouts is providing teachers with a way to connect instantly with other do-it-yourselfers. Search for a community to join and start connecting around topics that appeal to you!

Want to learn about how Performance Matters can help with your professional development? Check us out!