Thursday, October 1, 2015

Connected Educators Month

Welcome to Connected Educator Month!


October is Connected Educator Month.  The goal of the month is simple:  Get educators connected!

What is it?

So, what is a "connected educator"?  Check out this short video.

Key elements of "being connected":
  • Joining and growing a Professional Learning Network (PLN)
  • Continuous learning from other educators
  • Building resources and connections which enhance both your classroom and your professional growth
  • "Just in time" access to thousands of other educators and resources
  • An emotional, spiritual, and professional support network of thousands of others who do what you do, face the problems you face, and have multiple answers to the questions we ALL have.
  • Adopting the "lifelong learner" mindset
  • Growing personally and professionally each day
  • Using technology tools to make, curate, and expand your connections
  • Sharing what you know with others
  • Building quality relationships with your peers, both within and outside of your school
  • Staying current with all aspects of culture and education

Who is connected?

Many of our staff at Cozad Community Schools are connected.  They both rely on, and are resources for, other educators across the globe!  They attend and often present at professional conferences.  They focus on improving themselves as professionals and at the same time, they contribute to make education better for all of us.  Your Innovation Team (formerly known as Tech Team) members become connected as part of their service to our school.  Former team members continue to be actively connected, contributing to the progress of classroom innovation and service to our students.

How do you get connected?

We would love to help you become more connected!  It's really not difficult, you just have to be willing to grow, learn, and share.  
  • Social Media:  Twitter is a great tool for becoming connected and virtually all connected educators use it.  Many of our staff are active on Twitter and use it as a valuable tool to connect with others.  You can just follow what's happening, you can ask questions to thousands of "experts" like yourself, or you can share your best ideas.  
  • EdChats:  Education based "Tweet-chats" are scheduled Twitter sharing sessions in which participants from all over the world read and contribute tweets using a common "hashtag".  It's like an online meeting in which all comments are brief, everyone can contribute as they wish, and you get to know lots of new educators.  The most popular ed chat in Nebraska is on Wednesday nights at 8 PM, using the hashtag "nebedchat", but there are hundreds of ed chats at all sorts of times in which you can participate!  If you'd like to check out an ed chat, let us know!  We'll help you get started and even pair you up with someone who is more experienced. 
  • Professional Conferences:  Professional conferences are one of the best ways to get connected.  Members of Innovation Team attend at least three professional conferences each year; Fall Ed Tech, NETA, and ISTE.  We usually work with principals to select other teachers to attend as well.  If you'd like to attend a conference, see your principal or visit with us about becoming a member of the Innovation Team.
  • Connect within our schools:  Probably the easiest way to become more connected is to simply connect with others in your building or across the district.  The elementary has a very active group called Teammakers, which meets every two weeks and focuses on providing solutions for their building along with building relationships and sharing practices.  The high school has a breakfast club which meets every Friday morning in the library to visit about current school issues over fresh cinnamon rolls.  These groups are open to anyone who would like to attend.  Or you can start your own group.  The point is that our district is full of dedicated, brilliant teachers who love to be resources to each other and who want to make the learning experience better for our students.

Resources

  • October is full of activities and resources to help get educators connected.  Check out the activities and learn more about connected educators at http://connectededucators.org/.  You can also visit with other teachers in our district or see Dave or Patty for more information.
  • Stay tuned to this blog, twitter, and other outlets for more connected educator opportunities.

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