"Alone we are smart but together we are brilliant."
October has been declared by the U.S. Department of Education to be Connected Educator Month. Started in 2012, an entire month of webinars, blog posts, ideas, discussions and more are dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of educators to get connected.
I have been honored to be a part of the planning process and give input and ideas to the entire team that is working tirelessly to promote various events, tools and resources for educators to use throughout October.
What do you need to know about Connected Educator Month?
The main website is http://connectededucators.org/
The hashtag is #ce13
While the calendar on my laptop says September, events have already begun. One of the first things you will want to check out is the Connected Educators Calendar. There you can see all the events planned for everyday of the month. Running an Edcamp in your area? Doing some free, open PD for others? Hosting a Twitter Chat? You can add your events to the calendar too.
One thing that can be tough to do is explain what exactly a connected educator is and why it matters. Back in June, myself and several colleagues sat down to do just that. What came about was a short video you can use to help kick off events in your school or district.
Another set of resources you want to be sure to take some time to check out are the Starter-Kits. And there are 2 specifically you don't want to miss.
The CEM Starter-Kit, created by Powerful Learning Practice is full of introductions to what it means to be a connected educator, terms, places to go and is filled to the brim with sites, stories and more.
The other not-to-miss resource is the District Starter-Kit. Developed with school districts in mind, this resource has everything you need to run CEM events in your schools and districts. Presentations, links, ideas and suggestions, it has it all.
Lastly, you will want to create a free profile and spend some time on edConnectr. This is a social network for the new and not so new connected educator. There you can ask questions, find virtual events or connect with others who, just like you are starting out, or looking for others to learn from.
While every month should be Connected Educators Month, I am excited (and proud) of all the events, objects and resources included in this year's event. Be sure to check out the entire CEM website and remember, words are important actions mean so much more. If you are already connected, pledge to help 10 other educators get connected. And if you aren't connected pledge to take a look and see the wonderful possibilities for learning that can happen when you do.
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.