I hate my treadmill.
No, let me be more accurate. I have a love-hate relationship with my treadmill.
Here’s why: I really like to run. There’s something very therapeutic about getting out on the quiet country roads here in Indiana and pounding the pavement with my feet. It’s traveling with nothing but sweat for fuel. The solitude gives me time to think.
Here’s the problem: It’s the winter, and currently there are about five inches of snow or so in my yard. It’s cold. It’s windy.
The last thing I want to do right now is bundle up and run in that slushy, frigid mess. So down to the basement I go to run on my little rickety treadmill.
The treadmill has some advantages, though. I am within reach of WiFi and can set up an iPad, computer, TV or other device with a screen to play something to keep me occupied.
For me, this is what I call “Treadmill PD.” (Yes, that means “professional development.” Unless I put on a police costume and pretended I was chasing bad guys on my treadmill. Then it would mean something completely different.)
Podcasts, YouTube channels and other streaming audio/video feeds bring some of the best minds and ideas right by my side as I work out. By exercising and listening/watching, I’m killing two birds with one stone.
With New Year’s Eve less than two weeks away, resolutions are going to start popping up. If you have education-related resolutions and fitness-related resolutions, this is a great way to connect the two. Treadmill PD.
I have some tried and true Treadmill PD selections that I go to. I’ll list those for you here, and I’ll start tweeting others I’m listening to or watching at the #TreadmillPD hashtag on Twitter. (Currently it has no tweets on it, so we’ll have to see this #TreadmillPD idea becomes a monologue or if others join the conversation.)
I blogged about this one a few months ago. These are eight podcasts I download from iTunes on a regular basis. They provide value, don’t have too much fluff, use inclusive language and are professionally/intentionally produced (the criteria I use to choose what to listen to). They include Teacher’s Aid with Rae Pica, Edchat Radio with Tom Whitby and the Google Educast. Click here to check out the others.
Presenting to other educators excites me, whether in a blog post or in a session at a conference. It’s a true passion I’ve found. Kevin Honeycutt has produced more than 90 of these tips for anyone interested in presenting to other educators on at least a semi-regular basis. They’re quick, easy-to-watch episodes (most are less than two minutes), and they make you feel like you’re tagging along with Kevin as he jet sets around the world to inspire.
3. The ISTE Videos YouTube channel
ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is THE premier educational technology conference in the world. What’s great about it is even if you’re not at ISTE when it happens in the summer, you can still learn and experience it. ISTE has uploaded almost 200 videos from its conferences, and a vast majority of them are full-length sessions on great ways to integrate technology from the best edtech thinkers out there. I rarely watch an ISTE video and come away disappointed.
Michael Hyatt isn’t a teacher, and the “This is Your Life” podcast isn’t an education podcast, but the lessons he teaches cross over all walks of life. Michael’s slogan is “Intentional Leadership,” and teachers are certainly leaders. His podcasts, which publish Wednesday mornings, cover being more productive, being happy in your work, living intentionally and improving human relations.
These are just a start, and I would love — LOVE!! — it if you’d share what you listen to or watch. This list is by no means exhaustive, and there is some great content out there.
In the end, really, this is just another way we as educators can hone our craft without adding additional strain to our busy lives. These days, professional development isn’t just a meeting after school that your principal called about a topic he wants you to hear. You are your own best professional development.
Learn what you want to learn and where you want to learn it. Go out and become the educator you want to be.
OK, so those sessions on the treadmill aren’t as brutal as I made them out to be.
Maybe I should go downstairs and apologize to my treadmill for saying that I hate it.
Nah. It’s just a treadmill.
Matt is scheduled to present at the following conferences this school year:
- InSAI Indiana Conference on Learning (Jan. 28, Wyndham Indianapolis West, Indianapolis)
- Indiana Google in Education Summit (Feb. 15-16, William Henry Harrison High School, Evansville, Ind.)
- Indiana Network for Early Language Learners: Technology in the World Language Classroom (March 15, Park Tudor School, Indianapolis)
Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!