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Are You a Connected Educator?
posted by: Ruthie | September 27, 2013, 04:27 PM   

Feelings of isolation have long been among the most common complaints of being a teacher. Recently it's become more and more clear that when educators collaborate, the art of teaching is raised and students reap the rewards.

The problem becomes that it's hard for teachers to collaborate and talk with each other in a traditional school setting, which seems designed for each teacher to enter their room and close their door. Some schools have tried to work around this by encouraging professional learning communities (PLCS) in the school or cooperative planning periods, but not all schools work to create an environment where teachers can work together, which is why more and more teachers are turning to the internet.

Using the internet, teachers can create their own community of professional educators. They can get training through webinars, speak with experts in their subject area, or get help with specific questions regarding the problems they face. Most importantly, educators who leverage the internet are exposed to a wide variety of new ideas and techniques that can help them reinvigorate their craft.

Techniques such as flipped learning, project based learning, and classroom gamification did not start to emerge into popularity because schools adhered to the traditional method of bringing in an expert to deliver professional development. These ideas were spread because one educator told another educator about them in an ever-increasing web of connectivity. They were refined, along with more traditional teaching methods, by teachers meeting together in virtual spaces and communities and communicating together about what did and did not work in their classroom.

The internet is allowing teachers to break free of the mold set for them by the school board and administration and is empowering them to take ownership of their own craft, which is why this upcoming October is being celebrated as Connected Educator Month. Starting next week, educational organizations and websites will turn their focus to helping educators across the country use the internet to connect with one another and perfect their craft.

You can learn more about Connected Educator Month and see some of the events and information designed to help you become more connected, by visiting the Connected Educator webpage.

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