So yeah. For the last two summers I have attended EdChange Global (#ECG). They were pretty much the best online PD I have ever experienced.
After it's fourth year, EdChange Global has established a standard for what online professional development should look like. The model is as brilliant as it is simple: let life-long learners figure out what they need to learn.
It all started with a a calendar, which linked to sessions that usually took one of a few forms: Voxer, Periscope, Twitter or Zoom (video conferencing). Then the magic happens: teachers learn (and teach) about subjects they care about the most as they fully participate in the sessions. And here's the kicker: the sessions are saved forever and can be referenced later by simply going back on the schedule and clicking on the session that you missed. The entire conference is documented without an ounce of extra work. If there is a better model for online PD, please share it!
The event was exquisitely planned to the last detail. The team that facilitated created hourly challenges on Periscope, such as starting your own Voxer or video chat. These challenges served to bring the community together every hour (which is brilliant because it's hard to build community online), expanded attendee's skill sets, and most of all were addicting and fun. I hesitate to think how much time the organizers poured into their labor of love.
I think my favorite moment was as session when the facilitator was unable to attend.
We sat there for a few minutes, and then drew upon our collective experience and made it happen.
Again, if there is another conference that works just fine when the presenters can't attend, I’ve never heard of it!
So yeah. It was pretty awesome.