Friday, October 3, 2014

#ce14 Connected Learners

It's Day 3 of Connected Educator Month. I've been promoting CE14 at school.  So, I thought I'd take the time to download the starter kit for Connected Educator Month at the site  and get started, sharing a little of my own journey.

Maybe you haven't downloaded it yet -- so here's a few important ideas to help explain this important event.

What is Connected Educator Month?

From the handbook:

Millions of educators and others around the world have participated in hundreds of professional development opportunities as part of Connected Edu- cator Month (CEM) the past two years. Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education and its partners as part of the Connected Educators initiative, CEM offers highly distributed, diverse, and engaging activities to educators at all levels.
Why Connected Educator Month?

Millions of educators are connected to learning communities and networks to obtain [and give] "just in time" connections to information and collaboration to empower teachers and students in their own agency. However, many educators still do not understand the learning power of connected networking -- and most districts don't honor the professional learning occurring in these interest-driven, personal choices to access a network of resources that inform instruction and pedagogy.

Since 2007, I have participated in online courses, webinars, events, conferences, and collaborations that directly affected the teaching and learning in my classroom so that my instruction prepares students for their futures, which are far different than my past, and my prior educational experiences.  I became a connected learner.

As the handbook states:

You know that the world is changing...

New and emerging Web technologies are connecting our children in ways never before possible. Through blogs, social networking sites, multimedia and other Web 2.0 tools, their world is becoming more and more net- worked and participatory. Your students spend time every day in virtual environments that are highly engaging and encourage creative thinking and problem solving. They frequently participate in games and social me- dia where they routinely acquire and apply knowledge and collaborate with friends.

...but schools are not.
I accepted the challenge these changes expect of both my professional and personal learning practice.

From the handbook:

If you want to become a 21st century connected educator — and prepare iGeneration students for an exciting but unpredictable future — you first have to become a 21st century learner. That’s right. The “connected learner” is YOU. To become a connected educator, you must first become a connected learner.
Connected Educator Month helps you become a connected learner, learning in small steps some of the strategies, tools, and pedagogy that our students expect from us. A connected learner connects with others online, collaborating through social media and other venues such as Google Apps to discuss and practice this 21st Century shift to personalized, just-in-time learning, bringing the ideas back to the classroom and the school.

Connected Learners open up their doors and let the world in -- learning together what works and what doesn't. The conversation turns towards collaborative practice -- asking critical questions and listening to perspectives as they add to their personal and professional network with global connections and conversations.  Will Richardson explains it better: Click here.  Whether a classroom has one computer, one iPad or tablet or smartphone, or more, a classroom with a connected educator can connect easily with other classrooms.  Read about it here.

In 2007, I began my journey with Steve Hargadon who started Learning Central and Classroom Live.  Classroom Live is still going strong -- a Saturday 9:00 am adventure in educational technology. One hour of amazing learning. Saturday, October 4th is Michael Fricano's Research with Google Drive. I'll be watching the archives of that one. Check out the archives -- find one you're interested in -- any time of the day.  That's the beauty of online education -- just in time, and 24/7. It fits your schedule!

My professional/personal learning network comprises some amazing educators, principals, superintendents, authors, and middle school teachers just like me. I've had the honor of vlogging with Ben Wilkoff, Director of Personalized Professional Learning at Denver Public Schools, and Susan Spellman-Cann, counselor and psychologist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and others in our Fellowship of the Open Spokes. I've collaborated on a connected learner beginner's presentation for CEM 2012 using Twitter and Google Apps with Denise Krebs and Karen Fasimpaur. And so much more -- because I chose to take a small step forward in 2007. I chose the path of a connected learner, whose pedagogy you can read about here in the MacArthur Foundation supported Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, where connected learning is researched and shared. Again, a connected educator starts as a connected learner -- and we all know learning is not easy, but as one of my students quoted me this year, "Learning is hard fun." It also helps me understand the learners in my classroom because I am always learning.

So. Are you ready?  Do you accept the challenge? One small step ?????

Day 1:  Learn "What is a connected educator?" 

If you've read the above info -- you've taken the first step.  The handbook also links to these books and these books and these books.

How about:
Gee, James Paul
Next, the handbook asks you to create a Google account -- but wait!  You already have one!  In a new document,  take your notes from the above wiki information to answer the question:

What might Web 2.0 mean for learning and why should I care?

Here's mine:  Web 2.0 CE14 SRE  

Your turn!

Day 3:Twitter

Yes: Twitter -- microblogging in 140 characters.   Learn about it here: Twitter in Plain English.

 How to Twitter by Sue Waters of Edublogs

Create a personal account, then download the the starter kit  Connected Educator Month handbook for Day 3 to earn a badge!
 I follow Steve, Sue, Shell, John, and Sheryl already and so should you.

Now you've started your journey as a connected learner -- and a connected educator.

Come on!  You can do it!  Join the unofficial Google Plus CEM community hosted by Sheryl here

This is where I started after signing up for Twitter to follow my granddaughter and discovered all the educational resources and connections -- my first tweet:

It's your turn!  Take that first step...  then return here to comment on -- share -- your experience as a connected learner.

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

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Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.