Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Connected Educators Month...Make It Last All Month

Kicking off today (Aug. 1) is Connected Educators Month. Through a partnership with the US Department of Education, the idea is to get the word out about what it means to be a connected educator and the importance of being connected.

There are lots of webinars, panels, discussions and resources to share. You can learn more about it by visiting the Connected Educators Calendar. And you can even submit your own event there to get the word out about how you are helping other educators get connected. 

There isn't a whole lot more I can say about being connected. (In fact I recently wrote about why it's important.) But I want to offer you a challenge. 

Connected Educator Month isn't for you and me. 

Connected Educator Month is for those who haven't yet realized the potential and the benefits of being connected. It is for the skeptics on your staff. It is for people that might not believe being connected offers them any benefit. 

So my challenge to you is to pass along the website, calendar, or information about what we are trying to accomplish. Talk to another educator. Show them your Twitter page. Talk to them about the resources you get everyday. Show them your EDU PLN page and talk to them about the relationships you have fostered because you got connected. Share a project that could not have been as successful had it not been because you reached out in some form to another teacher somewhere. 

Everyday I wake up and consider myself lucky. I am able to do some pretty amazing things and meet even more amazing people. Even now, I am in Seattle spending time with some of the brightest and most innovative teachers from around the country. I get to take what they are doing in their classrooms and show it to my the teachers in my district. Instant connection. 

I will admit, for me connections are selfish. They are opportunities everyday for me to grow and learn with you. They allow us all to push beyond our comfort zones and learn what others are doing/saying/thinking and challenge what we are doing/saying/thinking. That is how we get better. If we stay in isolation, if we stay in our silos, how will be do better and be better for our kids? 

To borrow from my previous post: 

Being connected challenges me, everyday.

Being connected pushes me, everyday.

Being connected helps me grow, everyday.

As is typical with things that last a month the momentum is strong the first few days. There is lots going on, there is lots of buzz but as the month pushes on, talk slows, we go back to our slio and we forget. My challenge is do something everyday to show the power of connectedness. Help make Connected Educators Month last all month. Write a blog post, share a story, talk to someone. Whatever you do, share the gifts you get from being connected and the power it has over your teaching.

I'd like to collect what you are going to do to help spread the message. So in the comments below, share 1 way you can help other educators connect. Or share a story about how someone helped you connect. Then we can point to that for others to use as they embark on this journey.

Connect to help yourself. But more importantly, connect to help your kids learn and grow. 

photo credit: Marc_Smith via photo pin cc
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