Do you “google” what you don’t know to learn something? Do you connect through a cell phone, texting, Facebook, Google Plus, email, Twitter? If you participate in any two of those questions, you are already connected.
But a connected educator, a connected learner, has a vision. Think about your vision for the future. Imagine a community that grows together, supports each other, learns from each other, and develops solutions and strategies to solve issues and sort through tough times. Imagine that community could be anywhere —
- Want to connect students? Read about new bloggers and connect with them: 2009 student collaboration started from Edublog; A Google Story
- Want to teach photography, but don’t know about it? Connect with a university student photographer
- Want to collaborate with other middle level educators? Start a “neighborhood” wiki and invite them.
- Want to start small? Try Quad Blogging with three other schools — here’s an experience- 3rd paragraph.
- Want to know why we connect? Follow the flow on twitter and discover answers
Yes, that community exists now. If you want information, strategies, collaborative partners, just join twitter and shout out yourself or answer others’ tweets. If you want to connect your students, find fellow educators like yourself through twitter chats. See Cybraryman’s (Jerry Blumengarten) twitter chat page for all the educational chats.
From a twitter feed, you can discover links to people, plans, and projects that enhance your own learning, your students’ learning, and your community’s needs.
Today’s teachers are busy implementing the deeper thinking requirements of the Common Core State Standards. They discover that students need to “read” more than texts, and read to analyze and defend points of view, writing clearly to explain and defend their own ideas, and those of their student collaborators. How do we meet those needs? Through connections via blogs, twitter, and wikis so students can share and analyze research while collaborating on projects that demonstrate solutions and build understandings of issues and people. And how do we learn more? How about the Teaching Channel? How about a Common Core Google Community?
So that all students learn digital citizenship of active and positive collaboration, a much needed value today, students need to be connected in such projects. For all students. As part of class, not an extra course or AP Honors. All students can participate.
Really, do you need to imagine that future? It’s here– in the projects above just by participating; we just need to participate. We need to build the equity in education so that all people have equity in opportunity.
How do you start?
- Join Twitter and follow fellow educators
- Join one community, like: Connected Learning, Open Online Experience, Reflective Vlogging (Ben Wilkoff), Crafting Digital Writing (Troy Hicks), Fellowship of the Open Spokes
- Learn how others started (thanks to Denise Krebs, my twitter friend): JoLLE: Join, Lurk, Learn, Extend
- Start a blog: even if you post once a month, start sharing. See Sue Waters at Edublogs for How
- Watch Open Spokes videos to #OOE13 Ben Joe Erin Susan Sheri
Everything in this post has developed because I started on Twitter to connect with my granddaughter, now eighteen. But that one step led me to so many great educators sharing and connecting to find ideas and strategies, projects and plans. The links at top take you to my posts that show the realities created from the possibilities dreamed from “what ifs” in twitter conversations. My students still talk about their debate with China, their cowmercials with Scott Boylen’s class, and their blog sharing. Brothers and sisters ask, “Do we get to Skype and blog like my brother?”
Welcome to the future; you’re creating that positive, connected, productive vision now. We can’t be silos anymore, behind closed doors. We’re creating a connected, participatory, collaborative world that works towards shared purposes and shared solutions, for all of us, and for our students’ futures.
Equity. Participation. Production. Purpose. These are the future, this is today. See Connected Learning to learn more (see infographic below).
Imagine. Then make it real. See you on twitter @grammasheri !