Friday, October 11, 2013

What network makes you connected?

As I think about connected educators' month and I prepare for our inaugural Google Ninja Academy, I think about the difference between educators and connected educators. Since starting the GNA, I have had countless teachers ask me about the format of the summit and how to choose sessions. It had not occurred to me that teachers would have difficulty with this. When I attend a conference, I select sessions, but I am also there to connect with other educators - face to face and via social networks. I find it is these connections that improve my learning and teaching and grow me and an educator. However, many of my staff members have not encountered this type of learning space - one of learning freedom. I anxiously await our GNA to see how educators respond. We have purposely invited outside educators so our district employees can connect outside of our little hub. Though there are non-EdTech conferences our educators can attend, I don't know how many have attended those. Likewise, I know many conferences have yet to take the unconference model.

I think there is a shift in not only learning in the classroom, but in PD that is foreign to many educators. And, that I believe, is the difference between a connected educator and an educator.

I was privileged to be introduced to METC (Midwest Educational Technology Conference) my first year of teaching, allowing me to view a new style of PD and a new way of learning - through connections and collective intelligence. However, many are not so lucky. How do we give and promote these opportunities for all educators/

It starts at your campus - providing PD that is based on learner needs and is build around collective intelligence and collaboration. When this happens, educators can be opened up to the world of Twitter, Google +, and more.

What do you think?

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