Saturday, March 28, 2015

Celebrate Connected Learning

A prime example of connected learning being a positive force in education was evident today on Long Island. One hundred and fifty educators + eagerly met to connect, share, and learn together at the second annual Connected Educator Summit (CELI15) at Farmingdale Middle School under the leadership of Dr. Bill Brennan. Despite the flurries (yes, Long Island saw huge snow flakes floating in the sky again), spirits were high as Twitter friends greeted each other at the meet-up.

The topic, From Connected Learning to Student Learning, inspired educators to reflect on past practices and engage in conversations to create a new narrative for their journey. Networking, a panel discussion, #NYEDChat conversation, workshops, and an last session unconference format created an electric energy that pervaded the day. New learnings were tweeted, new friendships formed, and a spirit of positivity floated throughout the halls of Farmingdale's Middle School. Collaborative conversations were sparked in every conference room, learning lives were energized, and connections made. 

In a session that Blanca Duarte and I facilitated, effective collaboration norms and protocols were introduced to participants from different parts of Long Island to establish a culture of trust and positivity in the room. With this in place a flow of reflective, collaborative conversations on how to achieve deeper learning environments ensued. Upon exit, participants were asked to create a personal commitment statement to transform teaching and learning.

From DuFour's thoughts on groups vs. teams
The take aways from CELI 15 were many.
One little words, such as energized, inspired, listen, and positivity, were tweeted out at the closing session. 

What do we expect to continue after this weekend?
  • A commitment to continue to impact teaching and learning
  • Utilization of Twitter as a viable professional development tool
  • Reflective conversations to change the trajectory of teaching and learning
  • Renewed energy to passionately provide deeper learning environments for our students
  • Experimenting with new practices, protocols, models, and technology tools
  • NYEDChat to continue to build a following of inspired and committed NY educators and educators from across the states and the globe
Aha moments happened throughout the day at CELI 15. The following poem created after last year's meet-up is a compilation of thoughts that holds true today. I celebrate connected learning today and everyday.


May this slice of life about connected educators serve to promote positivity in educational circles and strengthen connectivity that blurs regional or state boundaries. 

I offer this narrative of commitment to enriching our professional lives to two writing communities:
Please visit these sites to read what other bloggers have written about life and learning today. 

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ADDITIONAL NOTE: Look what I found out about #CELI15 from Bonnie McClelland:

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