Monday, September 23, 2013

Why I'm a Connected Educator

The U. S. Department of Education has declared October to be Connected Educator Month. Being a connected educator has changed me so much that I have decided to share my enthusiasm and encourage my co-workers to become connected as well. Through this post I hope to describe why I am a connected educator.

My life as a connected educator is relatively short. I first started following blogs last spring. Over the summer I took the plunge and created a Twitter account. In that short time frame, my whole outlook on education and my path as an educator has completely changed! I feel more empowered, more enthusiastic about what I can do. I feel like I'm a part of something much bigger. I feel connected!

I am the least creative or inventive educator. I can take an idea and tweak it to make it mine, but I cannot come up with the original thought. When I come up with an idea of something I want to do, I always reach out to find out if someone is already doing it. More often than not, they are doing it in a much better way than I could ever think of!

My journey to become a Connected Educator and developing a Personal Learning Network began when I started at a new school and was tasked with getting their new set of iPads into classrooms and in the hands of teachers and students. I hadn't used iPads in the classroom before so I had no idea where to begin to help teachers integrate them. So I did what I always do - I Googled it! 

I discovered many blogs by very creative teachers. They blogged about all the wonderful activities their students (even kindergarteners!) were doing with iPads and other educational technology. As I followed those blogs I realized I was missing out on the rest of the conversation. Those same educators were communicating with each other via Twitter as well.

I never had a favorable opinion of Twitter, viewing it as a waste of time. But I bit the bullet, created an account, and joined in the conversation. I've heard Twitter described as a firehose of information. I think that's an understatement! All the tweeting and retweeting has really provided me with a ton of practical information. Through blogs and Twitter, my PLN has changed my outlook on pretty much every aspect of my career.

So in the spirit of being connected and sharing, here is a list of why I'm glad to be a Connected Educator:

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