Monday, February 22, 2010

Professional Development VS. Personal Development

Last year I made the New Year's resolution to learn how to play piano. I found a quaint music shop that offers lessons, and every Wednesday I wait along with the other students (most being about half my age) in the lobby with lesson books in hand. I don't teach music, but the experience has reminded me what it's like to be the one whose job it is to learn, not to teach.

It's important to always be learning something new. If we forget what it's like to learn, then how can we expect others to learn from us? We hear all the time about professional development, but I'd hope that we are aware of personal development as well.

Can the personal and professional merge? They better, or else you may be in the wrong profession. Take, for example, my most current New Year's resolution. I've always wanted to learn how to create Flash applications, and with the help of my Instructional Technology department I now have a fresh copy of Adobe Flash CS4 Professional installed on my teacher workstation. While – and I'm aware that this is an awfully nerdy thing to admit – learning this is mostly grounded in recreational purposes, I can see Flash-based web apps, games, quizzes, and even iPod Touch apps to be something that could be integrated into my daily class activities. How cool would it be to create my own iPhone app and then host it as a free download to students through iTunes?!

I'm not there yet, but I'm learning. Here is my first Flash project - It's a pickle navigating through a maze. Okay, maybe it's lacking in educational value.

But hey, we all have to start somewhere.

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