Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Unconnected to Connected - The Journey


Before July 1, 2013, I was clueless about the wide world of connectivity afforded by Twitter and other social media platforms. True, I had been to conferences and heard Will Richardson and Marc Prensky talk about the internet, digital natives, and a wealth of resources. True, I had always been a fan of integrating technology into literacy lessons. But in truth, I had not taken the leap of faith to enter the world of social media other than friending and viewing comments on Facebook. With the onset of what I call my "unretirement" as an educator, Twitter rocked my professional world. I became a connected educator, a global citizen breaking down barriers, regions, and boundaries to reach out to educators across the globe. Twitter became my viable channel to be expressive about life, learning, and literacy. It allowed my voice to surface, connect, and collaborate on issues of importance. 

Moving from unconnected to connected has been an expansive journey from no exposure, to lurking, to moderating #NYEDChat, to interviewing on live GHOs, to creating and launching three global virtual digital galleries of artistic expressions. I termed my blog Beyond LiteracyLink because of the interactive nature of my journey. Twitter, Pinterest, and GHO have allowed my individual voice to join with the collective voice of connected educators and citizens of the world. My message is clear: Be a risk taker! Move beyond oneness toward togetherness. Connected educators, together we are one!

(This piece of writing was featured as one of the responses in Tom Whitby's October 6, 2014 Edutopia blog post: The Connected Educator: All About Connectedness. It so happened that one afternoon last month Tom tweeted that he would like tweeters in his PLN to send in thoughts on the theme of being connected. I decided to act upon his request and penned this piece in the short time that I was allotted. This is not my usual style. Being a literacy person, I always like to have time to mull over my ideas and refine them before making them public, but time was of the essence. You can imagine how surprised I was when this was published thanks to Tom's invitation. Being a connected educator is a joining of collegial spirits who are inspired to grow as learners in a world of collaborative talk.)

Image from Pinterest
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Since this is Slice of Life Tuesday I thought it would be appropriate to submit my journey as a connected educator. This year has been one of bonding with virtual Twitter friends, F2F contacts in some instances, and an immersion in daily writing. With Connected Educators' Month upon us, it is good practice to stay committed to a profession that impacts teaching and learning on a daily basis. 

is sponsored by Two Writing Teachers today