Balancing the CPD
The turn of the century has brought in many shifts in Education and made it more inclusive. Not only has it offered various branches and career opportunities to pursue but it has cultivated a sense of professional awareness too. Along with other professionals, todays educators are also keen on their professional development. With the advent of technology, the horizon of teacher development has become more wide and advanced. Gone are the days when teacher development was limited to face to face trainings only both in-service and pre-service. But the list goes unending today with MOOCs, conferences, webinars,teacher clubs and organizations and not to forget the platforms offered by social media. So we have a good choice to take up our CPD more systematically. Overall, both face to face and online platforms have made CPD more relevant, accessible and manageable. It's a matter of choice to select the mode and medium.
While face to face events offer opportunities to increase rapport, they enrich our experiences by providing direct interactions. With an ambition to grow the personal learning network, conferences, symposiums, teacher trainings are still popular among the teachers worldwide. But they have their limitations too, considering time and money. It's not always possible to attend all of them and very few institutions show willingness in allowing their teachers to attend them for the sake of learners and smooth functioning of the school routines. (the advantages of such events are often neglected by school heads).
Online modes of CPD gain more weight in this regard as we can access then from anywhere in the world. Not all the institutes promote a healthy environment for CPD. Various apps, online chats, blogs, online courses, webinars have made CPD all the more manageable. So for the enthusiastic fellows who wish to gear up their professional growth despite all the odds, online channels of CPD are a boon. We can learn, share, interact with so many teachers from around the globe and that too without costing much and leaving our places. Also we can access them as per our time convenience. Connecting the whole teacher fraternity on similar grounds, these online platforms have scaffolded our learning in a meaningful and feasible way. So no worries, if time and work load prohibit from attending trainings physically, there are various MOOCs, catering different needs and covering multiple topics. If conferences are out of my busy schedule, then webinars help me to gain more insights.
So be it events demanding physical presence or online communities of practise, both are significant tools of CPD. It depends on us, how and which one we want to use. The regular annual conferences taking place on the international platform and the active teacher groups and forums have shown the relevance and utility of these face to face channels in today's technosavy world too. And with the regular updates in technology, the virtual mode is also introducing latest avenues of CPD. There can't be only one right way. A perfect blend of both of these modes, can help us balance our graph of professional development. Being the natives of this digital world, we are accustomed to navigate through multiple options. Same is the case with our CPD. All we need is to choose the right tab on the right time.