Did you know that October is Connected Educator Month? You can join in Chat sessions, Twitter Chats, Webinars, and Book Clubs with the authors! How cool is that?!
Earlier this week, while doing my daily reading of emails, I read about Connected Educator month in three separate emails. I took that as a sign... three is the magic number right? I had a faint memory of hearing something about it from last year and I had also bought a digital book by Kathy Cassidy entitled Connected From The Start, which I had recently started reading again.
So, I clicked on a link or two and ended up participating in a Webinar... not easy to do with a time difference of 11 hours! It was 6 am here in Thailand and I was catching the 7pm webinar Kick-off Panel on Personal Learning. At 6:00 am, I just really want to hit the snooze, not join a webinar. But I beat the battle of the bed and got up to the sound of a very strong rain.
Now normally, one doesn't connect not being able to do a Webinar with the weather, I mean, you don't need even to leave your house. However, if you live internationally, you just might know where I am going with this... Yes, when it rains here, it is likely the internet will go down. Sure enough, I had no signal. None. The phone actually said, "No Service". It didn't even try to connect. I said oh well and jumped in the shower. Checking my iPhone when I got out of the internet had connected enough to let me through. Half dressed, I laid in bed and listened in to experts, including the author of the book I mentioned above, Kathy Cassidy. Not long after, my two young children awoke and came running into the bedroom to see what I was doing. They were fascinated that people were talking but there were no pictures. So, this is PD in the 21st Century... learning in my own home, in laying in bed, before school with my kids by my side - not bad, eh?
So, I was able to listen in as I fed my kiddos, exercised and progressed through my normal Thursday morning routine. It was amazing to be connected and listening to people I admire and follow on Twitter. The biggest Webinar take-aways were to create a 'culture of learning' in your school, with your staff, and with your students... and the idea of sharing a 'lifestyle of learning' with my class. One speaker mentioned the idea of creating a bulletin board that is dedicated to sharing the teachers learning. I think I'll do that. The thing I related to most was the concept that that in education we need to make it safe for teachers to take risks!
The Webinar, led me to look further into Connected Educator month... and that is when I found edConnectr, a social media site for teachers that has a bit of an eHarmony (the dating website) feel to it. It collects your interests, your roles/expertise, what you can help with and what you'd like to be able to help with. Very cool. So, I joined up and found out there were book clubs starting each week of the month. Book Clubs with the authors! I hope some of you will check it out and join as well. I signed up for just two - as it is a bit unrealistic for me to be able to read 4 books at one time in a month. The book clubs I chose are reading The Connected Educator by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Teacherprenuers by Berry, Byrd, and Wieder.
Here are some resources for you to check out:
edConnectr - the Educator's E-Harmony