Lifelong Learner and Connected Educator, can you have one without the other?

Starting a blog where you expose all of your shortcomings and successes as a teacher can bring up many questions. I am lucky enough to do so with a group of incredibly intelligent, supportive colleagues. When considering how to get our blog “out there,” and read, the idea of being a connected educator arrives. What does it mean to be a connected educator? How has the internet changed the way we connect and learn?

Hands-connectionI’m sure you’ve heard it, “we need to be life long learners and set the example for our students.” I am a believer, but I think this statement is used too broadly. How do we define for educators what this means? I believe the internet can be our opportunity to be constantly learning. From reading well advised blog posts to attending a professionally lead webinar, the opportunities for teachers to extend their pedagogy online are endless. In the past, if we wanted to take our learning beyond what the school offers in professional development our options were either to read books or consult with our peers (I do enjoy when Ella brings me a great article to inspire). I’m certainly not saying these are insufficient options, but they are quite limited and not nearly as convenient as, say, logging on to twitter. And twitter is not the all defining outlet of a connected educator, there are endless options. Teachers can use Pinterest to collect ideas, subscribe to an online magazine, watch an instructional video like the ones from the Buck Institute. I would say reaching out to the online community has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as an educator. There are no boundaries to the inspiration at my finger tips, and accessing these resources can only result in learning for me and my students.

For more about connected educators:

A list of connected educators (some of my favorites are on here) Connected Educators.org

Two models of connected educators that transform schools KQED

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