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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Connected Educators Sometimes Do This

October is Connected Educator's Month and I just arrived home after a great experience at the Edscape Conference held in New Milford, New Jersey.  On the long ride (4 hours) home, I had plenty of time to reflect upon the events of the day. One of the recurring themes was the topic of the "Connected Educator." The following is what occupied my thoughts.

A Connected Educator sometimes:
  • Goes out of their comfort zone - Met a gentleman at Edscape who happens to NOT be connected on Twitter.  In front of a crowd he mentioned this, but also how he wanted to learn more. We've all been in his shoes but might not have had the courage to speak it out loud.  Way to go Mark! (FYI- This little country bumpkin went out of her comfort zone and drove over the GW Bridge!)
    Jessie, Dan, Billy, Nancy, Dave #4thchat PLN
  • Opens up their home to those they know 'virtually' - My PLN pal, Billy Krakower and his wife not only invited me to stay at their home but they treated me to a wonderful dinner at their favorite restaurant.  While @wkrakower and I have worked on projects together for 2 years - this is the first time we met face-to-face. 
  • Travels great distances to learn and share - Ten different states and two countries were represented at Edscape.  Bob Dillon traveled from Missouri while Daisy Dyer Duerr came all the way from Arkansas.
  •  Takes time out of their weekend day to "virtually" present at conferences:  My #4thchat friends, Paula Naugle joined our presentation from Natchez Mississippi where she was attending the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race. and Jenn Regruth participated via Google+ Hangout from Cincinnati, Ohio where she was spending time with family. Both added valuable information to our presentation.  Thank you ladies!
  •  Connects their students - New Milford High School principal, Eric Sheninger, has literally connected his students with his 'Charger Stations' at his school.  Since students use their mobile learning devices in classrooms he found a way to keep them connected.  Of course, there are more in-depth ways that the teachers and principal at NMHS work at connecting their students. 
  •  Reminds one another that it is about the learning journey and not the tools - Keynote speaker, George Couros, in his engaging address: Create, Innovate and Voice, reminds his audience that "learning is creation and not consumption" so we must "connect to heart before changing minds". 
  •  Meets up with their virtual friends - Friends through Twitter sometimes "Tweet Up" and actually meet.  And when they do, it's like old home week!  Conversations don't skip a beat as those connections have created a bond beyond the state/country boundaries!  I not only got to meet for the first time some of those in my Global Collaborators Network but I got to PRESENT with them as well! What a treat to spend the day with Jessica Bamberger, Dan Curcio, Dave Craig and Bill Krakower
  •  Shares information Learned - While at Edscape I couldn't help but text my colleagues and friends about the wonderful happenings at the conference.  Perhaps my principal will be able to use information I learned from Will Diaz and Dana Sirotiak in their Parent Engagement session.
If you're thinking about becoming a more connected educator click on the links provided in this post to follow some pretty amazing individuals on twitter! 

(If you want to connect with me - you can use one of the links to the side!)