October 2013 kicks off the Connected Educator month in the USA!
The U.S. Department of Education’s second annual Connected Educator Month kicks off this October and will have events to plug into year round. The Connected Educators initiative’s mission is to help educators thrive in a connected world. The question is how to get more teachers connected since those who already are connected are the once most likely to read about this initiative. Be sure to follow the hashtag #ce13
More and more we hear about digital divides. Many assume it means the difference between old teachers and young, affluent families and poor, quality schools and schools that perform poorly. Whatever the cause is, it is our responsibility to make sure that all our teachers are connected and that all our students are too. One of the benefits from being a Connected Educator is that you can help your learners become Connected Learners as well. I spend a lot of time with my students talking about how to connect and how much we can learn from others. It is important is that you practice as you preach. You can’t assume your students will acquire 21st century skills and be connected if you are not. You have to lead by example!
Taking it global
Last year we wrote the book Connected Learners and this year we traveled all the way to Lesotho, South Africa to help our friends with technology and to show the students how to write their own blogs. Since we were there last year they have been able to upgrade their computer lab with 8 computers on a Windows 8 server, in addition to the 15 laptops we have brought over. They are really practicing BYOD, with 3 different operating systems. Windows XP, Windows 8 and Umbuntu! That is a true challenge especially since they have a poor internet connection. Our advice was to writhe the blog posts in Word first and then copy them over to the blog We choose to use Edublogs.org since they do not require an email address.
Expand your network
Remember this month, Connected Educator Month, to connect globally! This in an initiative from the US government. But to be a Connected Educator you need to remember this. Follow educators in other countries. Follow people who do not always have the same ideas as you, and help students in other countries, struggling to connect! Get started!