Did you know that October was “Connected Educator Month”? On Saturday in an effort to avoid the work I initially sat down to complete I decided to look into this Connected Educator thing a bit closer. I initially came across it while reading through Facebook posts and happening upon a post from Edutopia. I have to be completely honest, my technology skills are very limited to say the least. I have a twitter account, but very rarely tweet unless I am at a conference or in a low risk arena where I have immediate support to trouble shoot my errors. I connect with friends and educators on Facebook and even find myself immersed in Pinterest from time to time. I read and respond to blogs, but not nearly as much as I could or should. So my thinking is this resource might just help me step out into the world of social media in a way that could positively impact teaching and learning on my campus.
At first glance the site is very user friendly and creates a safe space for those of us who are “developing” our technology skills. One feature that I found helpful was the supporter toolkit, which simply provides the basics of what Connected Educator Month (CEM)is.
CEM provides you with opportunities to learn how to be more proficient with social media to improve your practice. Originally it was developed by the U.S. Department of Education and it’s partners as part of the Connected Educator Initiative. CEM offers highly distributed, diverse, and engaging activities to educators at all levels. Based on its success over the past few years, the initiative is predicting to reach even more educators in 2014, through expanded partnerships and enhanced programming.
The goals of CEM include: 1. Getting more educators proficient with social media to improve their practice. 2. Deepening and sustaining learning among those already enjoying connection’s benefits. 3. Helping schools credential/integrate connected learning into their formal professional development efforts. 4. Stimulating and supporting innovation in the field.
Once on the website you will find each day in October is filled with online activities to get you started on your journey as a connected educator and learner. Topics range from video conferences on virtual learning to the principal’s role in supporting educator collaboration, improving professional development to webinar’s in story telling, and twitter chats on digital learning, education around the world and equity in a digital age. The opportunities cover a broad spectrum of relevant and compelling topics for teachers, teacher leaders, administrators, and educators in general. Join me in learning more about being a connected educator.
I invite you to share your thoughts on Connected Educator and how you might use it to push your practice forward?
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