Professional Development Opinion

Connected Educators Month is Almost Here! Connect Early, Connect Often...

By Jennie Magiera — September 19, 2013 2 min read
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Have you heard?
October is Connected Educators Month!
Are you ready? Are you participating? Do you know what it is? What’s a Connected Educator? OK, let’s slow down and start from the beginning.

What’s a “Connected Educator”?
While there are books and websites to learn more about this idea, in short a Connected Educator is someone who leverages technology to connect him or herself with other educators and resources. As a result, their ability to teach authentic lessons and knowledge of pedagogy, strategies and innovative techniques are increased as are their students’ opportunites to succeed.

What’s Connected Educator Month?
This is a month, facilitated by the US Department of Education, in which educators across the nation -- and this year, around the globe -- are challenged to host, attend and engage in a myriad of virtual and live events all centered on creating more connected educators. These events could range from a Twitter chat, to a podcast, to a live EdCamp or conference. They could be existing events that were planned for months, or some that were organized specifically for the month. All that matters is that they bring more teachers and educational stakeholders into the fold of digital connection and resource sharing. By the end of October, the goal is to have significantly increased the number of connected educators in our schools... and to have them continue to remain connected long after October 31st.

Who’s involved?
There’s a wide array of different organizations, districts and companies who are supporting this month. From Google to Edutopia, the American Federation of Teachers to national principal associations, Chicago Public Schools to private academies... this is month with something for everyone.

How do I participate?
Check out the calendar of events or submit an event of your own! Don’t be shy - the point of this month is to engage everyone - especially folks who aren’t necessarily already comfortable getting online. If you’re reading this post, you’re already connecting - so dig in deeper and visit the Connected Educators website to get the resource toolkit and learn more! If you are a school, district or educational organization leader and you want to promote Connected Educators with your colleagues, join the Connected Educators Month Facilitators Google+ Community. This is the place where we will all share resources, ideas, events, questions and successes. It’s a forum for anyone and everyone so if in doubt, join up!

How do you get ready?

  • Start tweeting using the #CE13 hashtag to share how you’re a connected educator, or hoping to become one. (Note - if you’re tweeting about Connected Educators month, by virtue of the act, you are a Connected Educator!)
  • Talk up the month and different events with your colleagues; get them to sign up for some events - be it a quick Twitter chat or as much as attending a live event! Aim to get at least three colleagues who aren’t currently connected to create a social media account. Whether it’s Pinterest, Google+ or Twitter, if we all help our friends get connected, more teachers will be able to connect and find inspiration!
  • Sign up for an EdConnectr account! This is like Match.com for teachers -- it’s a great way for you to meet colleagues who share common interests, goals or have a skillset to support you!

The opinions expressed in Teaching Toward Tomorrow are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.