Connected educator month!
I recently read this post in MindShift, For Educators, the Importance of Making Meaningful Connections | MindShift. How can teachers find useful connections to use in class? There’s a flurry of activity among teachers and administrators looking to connect through Twitter and other social media to advance their learning, especially as a new school year looms.
Soren Gordhamer, the founder and host of Wisdom 2.0 writes on the Huffington Post that the “real conversation” is “about how to connect to one another through technology — and in person — purposefully, in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective for our work, and useful to the world.” He goes on to argue that the real conversation should be how to use technology wisely.
1. Balance. Time is scarce especially when school starts after the holiday. Find ways to filter and sort information. Decide on how much time you want to spend on Twitter, Facebook and searching for content online. Use programs like Scoop-it and RSS feeds to filter!
2. Make technology work for us. Use Twitter and blogs to connect with other educators to learn and collaborate. Use technology to find answers outside your classroom. Help your students connect!
3. The Real Conversation. The real conversation of our age is less about “putting down” or “picking up” and more about partnership. It is about how to connect to one another through technology — and in person — purposefully, in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective for our work, and useful to the world.
4. Follow your vision. The real question is less about technology and more about vision and purpose. Connected to to our purpose, we can use anything to make the impact we want, both personally and globally. Not connected to our purpose, we can use anything — online or offline — to distract us.
- Be strategic with the “fast horse” technology adopters. These are the key drivers of technology integration and need to be spread across the school on different teams to maximize their expertise.
- Age and stage matter when building teams.
- Spend time at the start of the year to have teachers get to know each other, beyond their disciplines and subject matter.
- Teaming is critical. Careful organization of teachers creates the opportunity for the “bump” in learning.
- Make meeting places where critical face-to-face interaction occurs. These spaces should be a bit out of the way to encourage surprising interactions between teachers whom might not otherwise see each other.