So...You Are Connected. Now What?

11/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Remember October?

No, not Halloween. (Although if you are like me might still have some of your kid's candy still in the bucket on top of the refrigerator.)

Remember, it was Connected Educators Month.


It was the time to celebrate what it meant to be a connected educator and to help other educators get connected. There were some great events, book clubs, conversations and even a Twitter chat with U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

All in all, it was a great success.

Right?

I truly enjoy the idea of a month dedicated to connected educators, especially when it has the weight of the White House behind it. But a month really isn't enough. These are conversations that need to to happen every month, every week, every day of the year.

So where do we go from here?

Maybe you are newly connected and don't really know where to go from here. Or maybe you've been connected for a while but aren't sure what to do.

Ask yourself these 3 questions...

Why Am I Connected? Being connected is one of the most important aspects of my professional being. Not a day goes by that I don't rely on someone or something from my connections.

Being connected challenges me, everyday.

Being connected pushes me, everyday.

Being connected helps me grow, everyday.

Being a connected educator is part of me, both professionally and personally and I could not imagine myself otherwise.

So ask yourself, why are you connected?

What Can I Do To Be More Connected?  There were lots of events in October that helped you get connected, or more connected. The twice-daily emails were a great way to keep in touch with all the learning that was happening. But now the emails have ended. So how can you continue the moment and keep growing those connections?

  • Check Out The Connected Educators Month Website. Yep. There are still tons of events on the calendar and you can get hooked up with the EdConnectr and continue conversations or start new ones. 
  • Twitter Chats. I've talked a lot about Twitter chats. But seriously. Check out the Edu Twitter Chat Calendar and take part. 
  • Lurk and Learn. There is power in just lurking. Lurk on Twitter. Lurk on other educational social networks. Listen to other conversations. See what others are talking about. I bet, in a short time, you will want to jump in and provide your two cents.
     
  • How Can I Help Someone Else To Be Connected? To put it simply, once we are connected, we should help as many others get connected too. That can be a lot of pressure. So work one just one colleague. Send them some resources you found on Classroom 2.0. Tell them about a link you saw on a Twitter chat. Help them start a blog. Nurture someone else's connected learning by helping seed their development. Don't know where to start? The resource kits on the CEM website can help.

    So while it may not be October any more, we can still celebrate the connected educator and grow ourselves and those educators around us.

    cross posted at blog.web20classroom.org

     

    Steven W. Anderson is the Director of Instructional Technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, NC. He also regularly travels the country talking to schools and districts about the use of Social Media in the classroom. Steven has been recognized with the NOW Award and the 2009 and 2011 Edublogs, Twitterer of The Year Award. In 2012 he was named an ASCD Emerging Leader. Read more at blog.web20classroom.org.


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