Even though it looks different for each learner, being a connected educator simply means leveraging technology to expand one’s personal learning network. Doing so not only provides you with a network of like-minded people, but also inspires you to try new activities and strategies to create the most effective learning environment for your students.
Jump in this month and try something new!
There is a calendar through ASCD & the USDOE and that gives a multitude of activities that you can partake in. From tweeting to blogging to an online book club, there’s an activity for every type of learner. Defining what being what a connected educator looks like for you is step one!
I know right now, at this point in your year you’re thinking nuh uh, I can’t handle ANYTHING else. Trust me, we get that. These activities were intentionally easy, applicable, and designed to help get you CONNECTED…which in turn should make your life easier.
Angela Watson, from The Cornerstone for Teachers, who is just a little slice of heaven, puts it like this “Has teaching gotten a little monotonous? Are your students driving you nuts? Are you bogged down by all the demands of teaching and losing sight of the big picture? Do you often dread or feel ambivalent about going to work each day? If the answer to any of those questions is YES, then becoming a connected educator is necessary.”
But wait, Amber, how does this all translate to helping students learn?
As educators’ learning shifts from the “sit and get” model to the collaboration model, that shift hopefully transfers to their teaching as well. If an educator controls his or her learning through self-direction, that learning becomes more meaningful. Authentic self-directed learning becomes self-motivating. That does more than translate to a better-educated educator — it also creates a teacher advocate for collaborative learning. AND that, quite simply, is where we are going! It’s easier to differentiate, assess, and KNOW our students using this form of pedagogy, vs again, that traditional sit & get model.
We’re challenging our teachers to complete a “connected bingo” this month, knowing that if do they’ll have changed the dynamics of their classroom, and the mindsets of their teaching!