With a new academic year fast approaching, professional development may be the last thing on your mind. However over the course of the year you may want some support. In the hectic and relentless world of teaching, it can be difficult to find the time for new ideas or supportive critique from within your immediate work environment. These 5 new (ish) social media platforms for PE might be able to offer you that and perhaps also a critique of your ideas if you are willing to share them. These platforms offer a variety of methods to share and engage with the online PE Community, so you can pick and choose what suits you.
The Inspired PE Forum is message board that has been live for over 6 months. It is specifically for PE Teachers, it is free to sign-up and has a broad range of topics. You can start your own topics, share content and resources but it is best for getting ideas and answers to your questions from its 250 members. Although usage seems to have dropped off recently I think can be a very useful platform during the year as you can post a message and come back when you have time to read and engage.
Is a new shared blogging platform for PE Teachers. The concept is simple. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to blog about PE but you feel that running your own website would be too much? Or the 140 characters on Twitter doesn’t allow you the depth needed to get your thoughts across. The PE Circle takes care of that for you. Sign-up and you can get to start blogging straight away, without the worry of having to keep content fresh or promoting your blog. The PE Circle is also looking for some regular bloggers for the site. If you feel like you could write a 500 word blog post once every two months then let @thePEcircle know.
This is a website that automatically reblogs posts from UK based or trained PE Teachers, researchers, lecturers or coach educators. It brings all the posts in one easy place to find. It also has a Twitter feed @PEechochamber that notifies when new posts are made. Please check the blog roll list on the right hand side of the main page. This is an up to date list of the blogs that are connected to it. If you think your blog should be added then drop a tweet to the feed and it will be updated.
#ukPEchat is a Bi-monthly UK PE live chat for PE teachers to discuss and share ideas with other PE professionals. A twitter chat uses a hashtag to allow those engaging to communicate directly with each other. It also means that all the tweets can be saved and accessed at a later date if needed. It will start on Monday 7th September at 7.00pm. The first topic will be on baseline assessment of new pupils and the pros and cons of setting in PE. Follow @ukPEchat to find out more details about the chat or contact Tom Brush who is the moderator if you have an idea about a topic you would like to be discussed.
Perhaps you prefer talking than to reading, writing and typing. Then Voxer is for you. Voxer is a free app that combines the best of voice, text, photo, and video messages with walkie talkies for a powerful, modern personal and team messaging tool. There is a UK based PE Voxer group. Just download the app, set up an account and then click on this link to join the group. If you have any problems joining the group then contact Simon Bradbury via Twitter who is the moderator for the group. If you want to join any International Voxer groups then you can find all the information you need here. There are lots of different groups with many different focuses, so you should be able to find something that suits your context and need.
Hopefully one or a combination of these can add value to your Professional Learning Network and allow you to take control of your professional development when you want and need it. Or you can still do it the old fashion way with a drink down at the local pub after school on a Friday evening and have a chat with the rest of your department. Whatever you decide is right for you and your professional development, best of luck for the start of the academic year.