Adult learning in the workplace can be seen as professional development, especially for those employed in education. Being a teacher is not, and should not be a lonely profession. Interacting and sharing our thoughts with colleagues makes us stronger, better and fulfilled, and more capable of coping with various tasks. Teachers are lifelong students responsible for their own professional development, and they set an example for their pupils. Professional development can consist of much more than mere training days at school: we can learn through online courses, webinars and from our colleagues, wherever and whenever we want.
All of the above are types of non-formal learning which can often be very useful because of their innovative nature. There are a number of platforms where you can further your professional development through online courses, and where you receive a badge and a certificate upon successful completion: eTwinning, European SchoolNet, Teacher Academy, and I particularly like a platform called Microsoft in Education.
I was the first person in my school to start with Skype lessons and virtual tours, the first to have guest speakers who spoke to my students on various topics. My colleagues saw this kind of teaching as interesting and useful, especially colleagues teaching foreign languages. For this very reason, they wanted me to give them a closer look at how I do it and show them the benefits of a platform called Skype in the Classroom.
You can see the presentation and the photos from the workshops on the following link: https://sway.office.com/E8sFVLxaWTPjIJGR.
In addition to supporting my school colleagues in trying to incorporate Skype activities into their classrooms, I was very active as an MIE trainer, and I organized several workshops on how to make presentations in a tool called Sway.
You can see the presentation and the photos from the workshops on the following link: https://sway.office.com/p9R84mNnga0e1MFlfbclid=IwAR2Yv53i77Cy3y8_LEYDr0KrHyZAuFcN7x7fUgPRJWx8En5B_y3OslbiA6Y.
Sway is a new Microsoft product, and it's great for all kinds of presentations. I used it for my lesson plans and to present project results, and some colleagues use it to make an e-magazine.
It is easy to use and all you need to do is create an account using your email at www.sway.com. My colleagues realized that they no longer needed to use PowerPoint, as their presentations could exist online, with their own links that could be posted publicly or forwarded to someone.
In addition to organizing workshops at school for colleagues, one can upskill through organizing webinars using Skype, Eventbrit and similar platforms as a part of non-formal learning in the workplace. I have organized workshops for my colleagues from other towns and neighbouring countries.
Another very popular way of sharing ideas, collaboration and non-formal learning is through Flipgrid. On Flipgrid, you don't need to communicate directly online, you can make a video on a particular topic. Here is an example of collaboration between colleagues who use Minecraft in their classrooms: https://flipgrid.com/d79bce84.
Working people can also gain non-formal knowledge through various conferences, congresses and seminars. Apart from workshops and online sessions for my school colleagues, I shared my teaching experience as a speaker at workshops organized at “Synergy 2016”, “New teaching technologies 2017”, “Microsoft E2 2019”, the annual conference held in Paris, etc. Those lectures were well attended, so colleagues with similar interests had something to learn.