Do you struggle to find time to improve your teaching and your already busy schedule,
Brent Warner 0:04
We’re gonna give you seven ways to fit customized professional development into your schedule in this episode of the DIESOL podcast.
Welcome to DIESOL, the show that focuses on Developing Innovation in English as a Second or Other Language. I’m Brent Warner, community college professor of ESL and primary ed tech blogger for TESOL. International. And I’m here with Ixchell Reyes award winning educator in innovation and professional development and specializing in teacher training with an EdTech focus. Ixchell, how are you?
Ixchell Reyes 0:48
Hey, I’m really happy that we’re doing this topic because I’m often trying to fit PD into my schedule.
Brent Warner 0:59
Yeah, I think it gets hard for a lot of us, right? We’re looking at these times, and we’re like, I don’t have time or you know, I gotta go, I have too many errands to do or whatever else it is. And so I think we really wanted to focus in on this idea, because it’s, we see lots of opportunities, but we don’t necessarily always take advantage of them in the right ways. And so today, we wanted to really kind of hone in on the idea of how do we how do we fix that little problem? And it’s like, there’s stuff out there. I know it right. And that’s not necessarily the problem, but how do I take advantage of it in a way that’s most productive? And so, so we came up with a bunch of different ways. And we’re gonna jump right in. So Ixchell,, are you are you ready to go?
Ixchell Reyes 1:41
Ready to go?
Brent Warner 1:42
All right. Let’s start with podcasts. I mean, since we’re here, everybody listening to the show is already a podcast listener at some level, one level or another. So so how do you listen to your podcast show,
Ixchell Reyes 1:57
I typically go to Apple, or native podcast app. And I know that Spotify is Reese, I recently sort of went move it over to Spotify, just to see the diversity of of shows, because I think a lot of stuff that I’ve discovered on Spotify that I haven’t seen on Apple, yeah,
Brent Warner 2:19
the way that they display them is a little bit different. So here’s the thing, let’s get started with Apple first. And this could be for multiple different podcast players. But what happens is, when we start subscribing to shows, you know, you might have a bunch of different shows inside of your list. And then if you’re just looking at the regular Apple, or whichever podcast player, you’re list, a lot of times, it’ll just be like here, the latest episodes you’ve downloaded from your entire list of podcasts, right. And so depending some of these might be daily shows and they start pushing other shows to the bottom, and then you could kind of only scroll through the first five or maybe 10. Before you’re like, I don’t know what else is down there. So you end up missing a lot of the shows that you might have downloaded. And so what you can do is you can make lists, just like you can and a lot of your social medias and things like that is like lists that are specified on the ones that you’re looking for. So in Apple, you can actually go to a section in the settings called new station and you can make a station. So for example, you might make one called ELT, right. And then you could go in and put in, you know, you could put in DIESOL, right, and you could go put in Carol Salva’s, Boosting Achievement and whatever else you listen to
Ixchell Reyes 3:38
past of course.
Brent Warner 3:40
And so whatever you’re going to put inside of there, and then when you go to that list, then it only brings up the ELT ones that you want, instead of seeing all the podcasts that might be you know, like, Ixchell I know, you’ll listen to the true crime or to whatever else.
Ixchell Reyes 3:57
That’s that’s one of the reasons I actually just discovered this today, while you were typing up our show notes that I could now separate my true crime podcasts from my edu podcasts. And that’s something that that was annoying before because I’d have to skip, skip this episode or skip that episode. Or you and I don’t always have time to do that. So by organizing them, it’s just a little bit easier to get your your, your PD.
Brent Warner 4:26
Yeah, yeah, the next one doesn’t always come in that gray, or like, it doesn’t necessarily play the right one that you want in the next one. So it’s like,
Ixchell Reyes 4:33
oh, man, I don’t want to hear that right now.
Brent Warner 4:37
So Spotify will just point out that Spotify, we went in and looked into it, and Spotify actually doesn’t offer this option, right? You can, you can subscribe or you can say, hey, I want to listen to a particular show. Or you can go and highlight an episode and it’ll play it in a list for you. But you can’t do it like this where you say I want these shows to be put into a special list and so just be careful that spot Fy is not really well designed, and there are some requests out there online for them to update it and make it more accessible. But it doesn’t really do it very well. If you’re on an Android, or if you’re on some, you know, some other system, there are other pod catchers that do these types of things, most of them do. So Pocket Cast, or overcast or the one that I’m actually using these days is called snipped, s, Ni, P D. And so you can customize these lists, you know, for all sorts of different things, but, but check and see, it’s actually worth having a podcatcher that can customize your lists. Because I think what ends up happening is we get so distracted by whatever’s at the top or, you know, you’re like, I really want to listen to this thing. And then it’s kind of like, oh, but uh, hold on a second, I’m gonna go have to make some time for it later, because I got, you know, pulled away by the first thing that it shows. So lists are really great in helping you focus in on building your PD time.
Ixchell Reyes 5:59
So the next way to add some PD is to take free courses from places like add X, I know that we were used to like Udemy, and Khan Academy and all those other things. But edX is one where you can audit free courses from universities like Cornell and Pepperdine, and was others. But I went in there, and I typed in T Sol, to see what what kind of courses were available. And all of them you get, you could either audit for free at your own pace or enroll, you know, with a cohort, you could, if you I guess if you really liked the course you could pay for this, like there’s a certificate version. So given that the course is free, there’s not a lot of pressure, especially if you have to make time for other other things. And you can continue your PDN finish. Also, there’s LinkedIn learning, I recently moved over to LinkedIn, because I just again, I needed a place to find like minded educators who are sharing what they’re doing in the classroom and offering their thoughts. So I’m not, I’m not super well versed on it yet, so bright, you might be able to speak a little bit more on how LinkedIn learning has helped you. Yeah, LinkedIn
Brent Warner 7:22
learning is great. If you don’t really have to be involved in the social media side of LinkedIn to use LinkedIn learning. I mean, it’s just private courses that you go through again, same kind of thing. You go through it at your own pace. They’re all taken, you know, they used to be called Lynda, and it kind of got bought by LinkedIn learning. Oh,
Ixchell Reyes 7:39
yeah. So that’s what they get through Lynda. Okay.
Brent Warner 7:42
Yeah. So they’re really well designed, they’re just, you know, they’re pretty straightforward. And a lot of them are great, because they’re like, less than an hour long course. And so you can just kind of, oh, I just want a little refresher on this thing, or whatever it is so. So again, you can just kind of build it again, on your own time, hey, I’m not going to watch this TV show for an hour, I’m going to do this course, instead, you’d be in a good place. But yeah, let’s explore, there’s things are out there. And they were popular for a while, and then they kind of faded, like these types of free courses, they kind of faded from popularity, but they’re still really valuable. So it’s again, just kind of a thing to say, Hey, I’m going to jump back into it. Next up is deeper dives in social media groups. So kind of similar to the podcast thing where you make your own channel, I think the problem with things like Facebook or LinkedIn is we join these groups, but we wait for them to show up on our feed. And then hopefully, something that’s coming from there is showing up in our feed as interesting, right. And so when you go directly into the groups intentionally, so maybe if it’s just once a week, or whatever it is, but intentionally make your way into the group and then look at it, you’re gonna find a lot more value out of it, then you are if you just kind of wait for it to show up, right, and so or hope that it shows up on your wall or your feed. And so this is also true, if you’re in you know, even in Reddit, too, it’s like you can have the Reddit sub groups that you want to follow. That could be like ESL, or the teaching ones or whatever. But here’s my tip for this is if you save the link to a bookmark on your browser, instead of trying to log in, so whatever it is, if it’s Facebook or LinkedIn, and then you’re like, Okay, let me go find my groups that I’m in. Instead just make a link directly in your, in your bookmarks bar, I’m going to intentionally go into it from your bookmarks bar, then you’re going to skip past all the stuff that’s going to try and pull your attention again, and focusing only on what’s in the one group and then hopefully, if there’s good stuff being shared in there, then you’re going to be able to spend a little bit more time even though it might not have floated to the surface for you on your wall. So deeper dives in social media, great way to to make sure that your your customized content is showing up for you. Okay,
Ixchell Reyes 9:59
then next idea that I thought of was the good old book club. And I know that maybe you and I have been parts of just book clubs, because we want it to read something. But how many, I was just telling you pre show how many books I purchased, because I wanted to read more and get some professional development, but I just didn’t finish the book, because it’s more work. But, but it’s just so much easier to read with, with the colleague or someone online, someone looking to read the same thing. So you don’t have to wait until someone offers one. You could just create one, I guess. Yeah, you could take the the table of contents from the book. And then you could have a I generate some guiding questions for each week or for each topic of every chapter. You can also ask the people that you’re working doing the book club with to do a book, make a Google Doc and ask the questions and, but something that’s not too I guess, this is more like leisurely PD. But you still have a goal to finish the book, because we know that it’s a commitment when you when you when you’re trying to get that extra PD and you want to finish it right, you want to set yourself up yourself up for success. So I like doing it with like an accountability buddy at the gym, right? And it’s a way to get your PD in and you’re you’re reading a book that you’ve always wanted to read and and you have someone to chat about it with.
Brent Warner 11:34
I love it. I mean, this to me, it makes tons of sense. Because really, like the, in a lot of these PD books that we read, it’s like a chapter is really accessible, right? It’s like, hey, I can just read one chapter doesn’t take me that long. And then you don’t feel as pressured to get through the whole book. But you’re like, Oh, we’re just going to be talking about this one chapter. And so I’m gonna get through these, this section. And I really, really liked that idea. I think it’s a, it’s a great way to kind of help people see help people get connected to it, right? Because like, you’re saying Ixchell you buy the book, and you’re like, Ah, I’m just not going to do that part. But if you have friends, or if you have who, you know, and again, colleagues, too, right, you could do this with your colleagues. And it’s just a short, maybe a 30 minute thing where you’re just getting together and talking about those things. I think there’s a lot of cool ways to play with it.
Ixchell Reyes 12:22
And the point is not to have this literary discussion about the style, or it’s really to have a conversation with your colleagues where you can come up with ideas and talk about what what you can, what you’ve gained from the book and how you might apply it. And I think that in itself is so important. You and I were trying to figure out what happened to Ed camps to see if we could add them to the show. But they’ve now sort of disappeared. And so that’s a place where people could share their ideas with just other people. And so a book club is just another another way to have to have conversations with colleagues, because it’s something that you could do over lunch. I
Brent Warner 13:02
liked the informal, informal sense of it. Yeah, absolutely. Over lunch, it doesn’t have to be set up as a long thing. It’s just like, hey, just log in and talk to us about it. Even if you didn’t finish the reading. You know, you can still get some ideas. Right, right.
Ixchell Reyes 13:14
And then a good place to start is I use Goodreads to see, I typed in TESOL to see what books it would give me and it gave me a pretty good list. So yeah, there’s probably some oldies but goodies. And then there might be some teaching methodology type books, but you but it gives you something to sort in case you’re looking for the latest book. And then you offered an app called bookshelf, which sounds like it’s far more serious book calibers. Yeah,
Brent Warner 13:46
bookshelf is cool. So for people who are reading, it’s a reading tracker, like Goodreads but a lot of people struggle with Goodreads because the interface is not great. Yeah. And so. So basically, it was made in direct response to like, I want good reads to be good. And so so they made it there. And so if you’re, if you just want to be a little bit more serious, it cost some money or whatever. But, but bookshelf is a interesting option for heavy duty readers to.
Alright, hello, everybody. So if you are listening in early in February, I am running a workshop for Teasle International. So the workshop is called AI in the English language classroom. And it’s a five day workshop from February 19 to the 23rd. It’ll be from three o’clock to 430 Pacific or six o’clock to 730. Eastern for those five days. And so what I’m covering over those days is we’re doing an overview of AI and understanding on the first day, then we’re talking about challenges and limitations of AI. Next we’re talking about AI for classroom management. And again, Each moment, on Thursday, we’ll be talking about AI for language skills development. And on Friday, we’re talking about AI for assessment and feedback. So this is meant to be fun, it’s meant to be casual, Ixchell I don’t know, if you’re going to be able to join, I think you’re busy with other things, which is so sad. But that’s okay. People are signing up for this, it looks like it’s gonna be a great time. If you are a member of T soul, or if you’re considering joining, please do, we’d love to have you in the website is www dot t sol.org/ai-workshop. Or you can go check the show notes of the episode, or you can go over to t cell.org. And just go find it. But yeah, I’m really looking forward to this, this is something a little bit different that I haven’t done before. In this setting. I’ve done lots of one on one workshops, or you know, like for a school or something, but I’ve never done a full course like this. And so I think there’s a lot of really interesting things to happen here. And especially the big thing that I really want to help people with is give you the time to play with it. Because I think so many people hear about AI, and then they just haven’t really done very much. And so this is a real opportunity for people to get into it.
Ixchell Reyes 16:17
Alright, so continuing with our ideas. The good old message board for your local TESOL affiliate, oftentimes is this hit or miss, but it’s worth checking. There are many affiliates that are active. You don’t necessarily have to be there in person, they offer a lot of visit pandemic, they offer a lot of stuff online. If your local group isn’t very active, try moving up into bigger organizations like TESOL International, their TESOL international does offer a lot of stuff. And that has there’s a lot of content out there for bite size type professional development that is available even if you’re not a member. Yeah, well,
Brent Warner 16:56
and those message boards are, are great. You know, like when you get when you get in there, like you start seeing stuff that’s local. So for example, the katisa, one, still pretty active, and they’re talking about a lot of state level things going on. So if that’s important to you, you might want to jump into those I definitely think those message boards are, I think there might be coming back right as people kind of are like social media, not so much. I want to make sure I’m talking to real people and not just reading, AI generated whatever, right, I want to talk to people who are focusing on this thing. So message boards might be making a comeback for that as well. Next up is specifically webinars right now, I think, Ixchell, I don’t know, did you feel this during pandemic and afterwards these zoom fatigue?
Ixchell Reyes 17:39
Brent Warner 17:42
Yeah, and I know we all did. And so then it’s like, well, I don’t want to sit down and watch another webinar. And I think a lot of them are kind of like, you know, there’s still that hesitation around it or wanting to push back against it. But you can switch these things out, right, you can carry a zoom webinar in your pocket, and you can go for a walk with your dog. So like, what if you’re like, Okay, there’s a webinar going on, at this time, I’m just gonna listen in, I’ll keep it in my pocket. So if I’m walking my dog, for example, I can pull it out. And I can go look at the screen and see what’s going on. But if I but then I can just keep walking for the talking parts and all those things as well. So So I would just suggest that there are webinars out there, just the ones that you might be interested in, put them in your calendar and put them in as a different color. So you don’t feel committed to it. Right. So maybe your work stuff is always in, you know, red or whatever. But like if you make an optional webinars that you’re maybe thinking about going to in, you know, blue, or green, or whatever else it is, then you’re don’t feel as committed, you’re just like, oh, yeah, that’s the thing that is happening. And then choose for yourself, right? Like, what’s it a reasonable amount of times to go to these things for you? Is it once a month, right? I just want to say I, hey, I’m going to do these things once a month. That’s it. Right? And it’s fine. Is it more than that? Is it less than that? I don’t know. I’m just saying that if you start making a plan for attending these things on a, you know, on a fairly regular semi regular basis, then you’re going to be more likely to go to them and then go okay, actually, that was worth my time, which is actually what’s happened to me Ixchell a lot recently as I’m like, I don’t really want to go to this PD thing, but I guess I’ll go to it. And then I show up to it. I’m like, Oh, dang, I learned a couple of good things.
Ixchell Reyes 19:21
You know, you mentioned you know, I don’t have a dog. My pet of choice is a cat and I can’t really walk the cat. But I’m not advocating for for watching a webinar while you’re driving. But, but I actually do listen to webinars while I’m driving, because that’s a time when I I’m just letting someone tell me ideas that I might put into, that I might apply in the classroom. And there’s been many times where, again, one of the drawbacks of living close to work is that I no longer have two hours of commute. I listen to several webinars but then I come Home good. I’m in the garage. And I’m like, Oh, I don’t want to turn it off. I’m just gonna listen another 10 minutes. And again, any PD that you get if it’s 10 minutes, 15 minutes, that’s more than zero. And so I’m advocating for, again, we have busy schedules, and I don’t have an extra hour at home to go listen to stuff, or work when I’ve worked eight hours. So any thing additional 10 minutes, even 10 minutes is better than zero. Yeah, for sure.
Brent Warner 20:30
All right. Last one on here is getting on mailing lists.
Ixchell Reyes 20:34
Mm hmm. And I was like, ah, mailing lists. Well, most of us don’t want to be on more mailing lists, and we, you know, actively unsubscribe. But it’s worth remembering that most people from small podcasts or websites are just one person trying to share and build a community. They’re very unlikely to spam you, but they will remind you when something pops up, which is true, especially in the education community, that’s how I learned about certain things from certain people. For example, Dr. JPB, Jarrell or Justin, who’s our friend that I find out about his workshops. Yeah, never.
Brent Warner 21:18
So I think that’s a that’s a good point is like, you know, we have this image of mailing list has been like, oh my gosh, another terrible thing. Or it’s like, I gotta go unsubscribe from corporations for sure. Right? Go delete, go unsubscribe from all those things. Fun things. Yeah. I mean, my advice is, go sign up for a teacher’s mailing list and go unsubscribe from to shopper shopping mailing list, right? For every one that you do, and then you’ll you’ll be sorting it out. But also, you know, it fits people like us, right? It’s like, most of the time, they kind of forget, and then every once awhile, they’re like, oh, yeah, here’s something and they’re like, Okay, well, then you can kind of get caught up on things. So. So you know, don’t don’t load the the mailing list, right, it’s still is a great way to actually just kind of catch up on the things that you know, that you’re interested in. Alright, Ixchell. So that’s seven different ways that people can make a little bit of time for PD in their already busy schedule. There’s also a book out there to the DIY PD, a guide to self directed learning for educators and multilingual learners by our friends, Carol Silva, can you topple and tan when, and so we forgot. I don’t have it with me while I’m here in Japan. And I don’t think you don’t have it. You have it with you or might be packed away right now. But, but if you’re interested in how to do things for yourself, that’s a great book as well to go check out if you want to follow up more on this topic and be like, oh, I want to have a little bit more information. So DIY PD, worth a look.
Ixchell Reyes 22:49
All right, time for our fun finds. This week, I have a podcast. And it is called last week in AI. It’s arises all the changes, upcoming upcoming products, etc. And implications for this. And all of AI. So it is a little bit technical at times, but it’s fun to as an instructor as a teacher to see where we might be going soon. So check it out. Nice.
Brent Warner 23:17
So mine is the new show. Mr. And Mrs. Smith, it’s on Amazon Prime. It’s got Donald Glover and Maya Erskine. It’s kind of based on the movie, you know, the the to the husband and wife who are spies or whatever like that, but it’s, it’s got its own whole premise. It’s very different feeling and not as silly, but it’s a slow burn. So you have to kind of be into that feeling of like, where they linger in the moment or you know, it’s like, it’s just kind of like what’s going on in here. So I love that type of setup. Mr. And Mrs. Smith,
Ixchell Reyes 23:51
How many episodes are you in?
Brent Warner 23:52
I think I’m four episodes in? Three or four.
Ixchell Reyes 23:56
Brent Warner 23:56
Yeah, it’s, it’s been great for me. I really I really enjoy that type of show. So you know, it’s got its moments of spy II and shooting and explosions. And then it’s got these other really long slower moments that’s about the relationship and so worth a check. Mr. And Mrs. Smith, cool.
Ixchell Reyes 24:19
For the show notes and other episodes, check out DIESOL.org/ 98 You can also find us on YouTube.
Brent Warner 24:28
You can find me on the socials at @BrentGWarner.
Ixchell Reyes 24:32
And you can find me, Ixchell, at @Ixy_pixy that’s I x y underscore p i x y
In Bulgarian thank you is Blogudaria. Blogudaria for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast.
Brent Warner 24:49
Ixchell Reyes 24:51
Are you a busy educator looking for practical ways to integrate professional development into your hectic schedule? Brent Warner and Ixchell Reyes share 7 practical strategies and resources to customize your professional development journey, ensuring it fits seamlessly into your daily routine.
In this episode:
- Discover how to organize your podcasts for targeted professional growth.
- Explore platforms like edX and LinkedIn Learning for free, flexible courses from top universities.
- Making sure your social media works for you, and not the other way around.
- And more!
Got other ideas that would help? Let us know! Visit the show notes or drop us a line so we can share out with more teachers.
- LinkedIn Learning
- Good Reads
- British Council Teaching English
- DIY PD: A Guide to Self-Directed Learning for Educators of Multilingual Learner by Carol Salva, Katie Toppel, and Tan Huynh