Connected Educator... ...Chapter 1
What is a connected educator? Looking at my own life prior to learning of the tech side of PLNs and Innovative Instructional Leadership, I would have said that I was a very connected educator. I could pick-up my phone and contact several educators in my area of expertise for advice, criticism, or just to reminisce. I would have considered myself a social person that made the most out of connecting with people... ...and I believe that I did. I would argue that I took full advantage of the mediums I used to "connect." As I jump into the deep end of 21st Century learning, I find that my potential to connect just became endless.
"This is what happens when educators connect" (ISTE)
Whether we as educators want to believe it or not, there is a need to connect. The students that sit in the seats of schools today are not the same as we were when we sat in schools. The amount of knowledge and resources at their disposal is truly only limited by us as educators. We need to open the flood gates because that is the future. Content and information is at our fingertips. Students don't need to learn what. They need to learn how. The need to connect is not just about connecting people. It's also about connecting information to application. Now that learners have access to everything, our job as educators is to connect.
What does connection look like? There are many examples of what it could look like, but there is not a one-size-fits all to the perfect connected learning environment.
"A Day in the Life of a Connected Classroom" (edutopia)
That is the wonderful thing about learning in the 21st century. A connected classroom can be catered to whatever is needed by the educator. With so many exciting tools at my disposal, I look forward to the challenges of discovering the best tools for my classroom.
Where will I land as a connected educator? My desire is to do what is best for students. Learners that sit in our seats (or log into our classes) are often seeing the tip of the iceberg of potential accomplishments. Through connection, collaboration, sharing, creating, innovating, etc... I hope to open a new world of endless potential for the learners that I come into contact with (including myself).
As a life-long learner, it's now time to put in the effort necessary to become a successful educator in the 21st century. Winston Churchill summed it up when he said "Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."