Sunday, October 5, 2014

‘What it means to be a connected educator’

I have always been a connected teacher. It is how I connect, and with who, that has changed with technology.
Connected means discussing my ideas, and listening to the ideas of others. This is something we as teachers have always done because of the collaborative nature of teaching. Maybe it is that ability to collaborate, and that willingness to do so that makes us want to be teachers. Connected used to be the wandering into te class next door and talking to your colleagues. What went well, what didn't, what we can do better, This wouldn't just be the teacher next door but also other colleagues that you got on with and found a similar philosophy.
These things still happen, but now the circle of educators we can connect with is wider with an online presence.
So the benefits of being a connected teacher today are great. For me the greatest benefit are all the ways I can make myself a better teacher; this applies to face to face connections as well as online.
Focusing on my online connections for now I am finding a wider range of ideas and questions are filling my head. One of the groups I sometimes take part in is EdChatNz on Twitter. This group is made up of secondary and primary teachers, new and experienced teachers and from teachers from all over New Zealand. I quite often find myself thinking about comments on my walk to school on Friday mornings. Some of those have become actions put in place in my class and I believe have made me a better teacher. I don't claim to have all the answers and so finding ideas and contributions online increases the range of those ideas.
Being connected opens me up to more professional readings, more professional ideas, more ways I can learn. And who knows I might just help someone somewhere too.

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