Saturday, September 28, 2013

STAY INFORMED - STAY CONNECTED


For the past decade, I have championed the cause of building reflective communities and collaborative conversations as vehicles to impact teaching and learning. So, it would follow that even in retirement from public education I would continue this initiative as I consult with teachers. Over the past decade, I have seen a change in connected environments and due to the power of Twitter my mind has been opened to additional avenues for staying informed and staying connected. Without leaving my home, I can converse with like-minded educators across the states who have a unified purpose - impacting teaching and learning on a daily basis. I am amazed at the number of committed educators I have been introduced to through Twitter, a real-time information network. Each week, I can choose from a variety of PLNs to delve deep into topics such as leadership, vision, back to school night, instructional practices, read alouds, close readings, and teaching and learning.  I have applauded committed individuals who spend time outside of work engaging in relevant, thought-provoking conversations on powerful PLNs, such as #satchat, #ideachat, #nyedchat. Stimulating, engaging, exchanges interjected at a quick pace, push my thinking. Where could I have as many conversations that champion creativity, innovation, and reflection, if it were not for connected environments?  In addition, embedded in Twitter messages I find links to professional blogs, websites, and events. With these avenues I can make new connections and further my growth as an educator. 

As September turns into October, stay connected and become informed about relevant issues in education. Join veteran and novice educators across the globe as "Helping Educators Thrive in a Connected World" becomes a focus during Connected Educator Month. For those attending the first ELA Coordinator Network on September 30, 2013 that connects State Ed officials with Long Island educators, live connections will be encouraged through the use of the Twitter hashtag, #elanetwork. This is an opportunity to tweet pertinent information to those in the conference room and those not able to attend. In addition, during Connected Educator Month, you may find it interesting to blog with your colleagues, connect with your district PLN, such as Reflective Pathway, or join a face to face professional development group. With each new conversation you can deepen and further your professional learning. Being informed and staying connected are practices worth investing in for these may lead you to further collaboration and improved instructional practices.
If you would like Twitter Tips, go to http://partyaficionado.com/2011/05/29/how-to-use-twitter-infographic/.
If you would like an inforgraphic that summarizes Twitter for teachers, go to http://www.teachthought.com/social-media/infographic-summarizes-twitter-teachers/.