Connected Educator... ...Chapter 10: A Reflection on Connected Leadership
The need to be connected is nothing new in education. Since the beginning of time people have gotten fulfillment through being connected with others. In the past many our connections were in the form of physical contact (F2F). With the advancement of technology, the definition of connectedness expanded to include conversations on the telephone and the medium of television. Now in the 21st Century we find ourselves again redefining what it means to be connected. Having a 1990s super computer that fits in our pocket today, our ability to connect continues to grow. The resources of the 21st century now allow us once again redefine what it means to be a connected.
With the realization of the need to redefine what it means to be connected in education in the 21st century, we must become active and contributing members of this expansion. We do this through leadership. It is not enough as leaders to ride the wave of this new age of connectedness. We must innovate and initiate our medium to better what we do as educators. At the end of the day, we now have an opportunity to meet students where they are at, connect with them, and take them to beyond their potential. There is no replacement for a great teacher. Great teachers can now enhance student learning through connected leadership.
Connectedness comes in many different forms. As an initial skeptic of Twitter, I was proven wrong on my perspective of the effectiveness in the educational environment. The idea of using Twitter as a method for professional development seemed unattainable and mythical. I have come to find that Twitter is a medium that can connect many different levels of my professional life. This includes others from across the globe in my music content area, educators from other content areas, and professionals in the field outside of education. I have found out that I have instant access to the educators and innovators that can open my eyes to new resources and trends in education. Twitter on the personal social side I still don't buy in to, but in my professional life... ...GO TWITTER!
The Google world has engaged me in creative collaboration and resource building. Google Drive has allowed me to share my files, resources, and even concert videos with the masses. Through privacy and sharing controls I have also been able to restrict access to particular folks, or in many cases open access to the public. I no longer fear privacy issues. I have convinced myself that in order to fully take advantage of the connected world, you must openly immerse yourself in the connected world. Google has allowed me the ability to do that.
I truly have enjoyed collaborating with other educators, administrators, and students from all over the world. Most of all I have enjoyed getting to work with my WSU Cohort. As we continue this journey we are engaging in deeper and more meaningful conversations and projects. We as a group are now tapping into the innovation side of being Innovative Instructional Leaders. The world seems a bit more welcoming and friendly now thanks to the WSU Cohort folks. I appreciate you and look forward to working with you in the future. Together we are making a difference!
I believe in connectedness. Not just our ability to connect in the digital age, but also connectedness all forms. From physical F2F to video/audio to digitize chats and sharing. I think connectedness is what we are called to do as human beings. The Connected Educator Course has fallen comfortably on my lap of professional development. I continue this mentality as I work towards becoming a better educator and leader.