I began blogging last year as a way to document my increasing role as a technology leader in my building. In my school I am the one in the know, but really I know that my knowledge is limited in the greater scope of things. How could I lead and not know all? But really, what leader does know all? It’s about finding and using resources out there and providing that information to others, that is the sign of a true leader in my view.
Enter the role of social media. I began with social media as a way to connect with old friends and keep up with family. I soon found it was a great source of information and learning opportunities. As many in the tech world know, you can Google the answer to almost everything. However, did you know you can also post and tweet your way to gain information as well?
In the field of education, it is often thought that leaning happens from presentations and conferences. Luckily we are flipping PD with great resources such as EdCamps, Twitter chats such as #satchat and #edchat, and sites such as http://edupln.ning.com. These forums demonstrate that there is not necessarily one expert, but that all educators have information to share and help their colleagues grow. And that educator learning does not need handouts, Powerpoints, and lectures, but requires dialogue, conversation, and extension.
As part of my own professional development, I am reading The Connected Educator by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall. This book reinforced my view that I need to continue reaching out to grow as an educator and a leader. This book provides great information for the novice in connectedness and for the already connected educator. I hope to pass this information along to my colleagues to help them realized that connectedness is crucial to the future of education for ALL LEARNERS.
No longer can educators and schools function in isolation. There is too much out there to gain and learn beyond the brick and mortar. Our students understand that, and we need to teach them to harness it for their learning. But first, educators need to embrace for their own professional development and growth.
So if you are not connected, reach out to someone who is to help you get there. If you are connected, how do you best help people see its importance? Being a Connected Educator is a great opportunity to “…think and communicate globally to drive change and innovation locally.” (Nussbaum-Beach and Hall, p.14)