The old days of isolation and closed classroom doors are a distant memory. Connected Educators are honing their teaching practice and sharing about learning by talking to experts, colleagues and reading about best practice online. The discussions between teachers are shifting from complaints in the staff rooms to creative problem solving and shifting pedagogy.
For me, the journey to become a connected educator has been eye opening, uplifting and has shaped who I am as a person. It has changed my ideas about education, teaching and learning. I feel like I get filled up by being connected to educators around the world. I love learning, reading about what others are doing, seeing student work, hearing about what does not work and where teachers are going on their own journeys.
It's like working with a creative, helpful, positive friend who is always in the classroom next door! I have not felt so inspired and supported since I was so lucky to have Lori Feeney as a teaching partner. Lori and I planned together, shared ideas, reflected, laughed and were there for each other every time we tweaked our lesson plans. Now, my "Lori Feeney" are all the teachers on Twitter. Since I became connected, I spend time reflecting on my own teaching, tweaking it with each lesson, blogging, and sharing on Twitter. Instead of complaining about how hard my job is, I talk to my Personal Learning Network (PLN) about what they are doing, and together, we shift the focus from what is not going well to what we can do to fix it.
I have three favorite ways to connect with my PLN. Twitter, Edmodo and Pinterest.
Becoming a connected educator is not just about gathering information though! It is about building relationships, sharing and reflecting on your teaching.
Are you looking to learn how to speak The Twitter? Recently, my great friends Carrie Baughcum (@carriebaughcum) and Jenna Hacker (@jennahacker) and I presented to teachers in our school district. Carrie (carriebaughcum.com) created a really helpful Thinglink to help people get all the resources they need to begin getting connected. P.S. She also designed the graphics for my blog! She rocks.