October is Connected Educator Month. It’s a time to celebrate the fact that other people are trying new things with their classroom and their teaching. They are trying new things and sharing them for the world to see. People are no longer restricted to the ideas that come from their own brain, or the brains of our co-workers. There are thousands of people in education who actively share and look for ways to be better.
With Twitter, Skype, Periscope and Google Hangouts, the education world continues to shrink. Educators can bounce ideas off their peers on the other side of the world. They are showcasing their successes (and failures) with new learning models and the tools they use to achieve them. Educators don’t have to wait for the next big conference or read the newest book to find out how teachers are flipping their classrooms or incorporating maker into their history curriculum. Anyone can hop on a Twitter chat, attend an EdCamp or watch a live stream to see first-hand how others are doing the things they want to change in their classrooms.
As Richard Byrne mentioned in his article on Connecting Educators Who Are Nervous About Connecting, being connected doesn’t have to be direct interaction. Listening is often more important than contributing. With so many educators writing about their experiences, it’s easy to curate blogs and discussions from similar educators and thinkers through an RSS feed such as Feedly or Flipboard. Educators can use these as a starting point for their own internal dialog and pass along posts to educators and administrators who can use them. Mash up ideas. Comment when truly moved.
MBS Direct works with more than 700 private K-12s and Higher Education institutions. We have schools doing amazing things, such as instituting maker and experiential learning and redesigning learning spaces for better collaboration. If your school is struggling with a concept and would like resources at other schools doing something similar, we might be able to put you in touch with a partner at the same point or a little further along.
In the spirit of connecting, please reach out to me on Twitter (@CarrieJWatkins) or LinkedIn, or find me at an upcoming conference so I can connect with you directly. There likely will be free coffee involved.