Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why is being a Connected Educator important?

What's happening in your classroom?

I never really thought about being a connected educator in any depth before this month. However, Connected Educator month here in NZ and USA has really made me think about what is a connected educator and why it is important. In a Secondary School it is very easy to be an individual,alone in your classroom, door shut, teaching the same units you have for years, unable or unwilling to change. It may be that you see no need to change or you don't know what to change or how to change, your students may be connected with the world, are collaborative, creative thinkers and achieving to the best of their ability. But how would anyone know? Over the last few years I have come to realise the importance of sharing my practice, collaborating with other educators and increasing my knowledge about my subject, new technology and learning/teaching. How have I come to realise this? I have increased my understanding and knowledge through Post Graduate study, creating a PLN through Twitter, blogs, a variety of professional development opportunities,  such as attending conferences, workshops and teacher-led meetings. I was lucky to be awarded a CORE-Ed fellowship in 2013 which has expanded my horizons and again reinforced the need for modern teachers to connect with other educators and ideas in a multitude of ways. The world and technology are changing so quickly, that a teacher who is not connected to what is happening, is not only missing out on amazing information and resources, but so are their students. The smartphone, tablets, laptops and other technology have made information and knowledge accessible to our students 24/7. We can no longer be the "sage on the stage". By being as connected as our student we can share the digital world and learn alongside them. The world are students will enter when they live school will be a about collaboration, connectivness and creativity. How will they experience this in school if we don't know how ourselves?

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