Introducing the Connected Teacher
Last week on the blog, we discussed the connected classroom and examples of ways your can connect your classroom to others around the world. Using technology to connect your students to others around the globe helps your students break down the walls that traditionally exist in the classroom to build bridges to other people, countries, and cultures. When teaching your students how to think globally and connect with others around the world, it’s important that you do the same.
Building a connected classroom doesn’t have to be difficult, but before you start investing the time and energy, it’s a good idea to become a connected teacher. What’s a connected teacher? A connected teacher is a teacher that is connected to other educators and education resources on social media through communities and networks.
These communities and networks can help you make the transition to being a connected teacher and having a connected classroom a smooth one. They are designed to allow you to share your experiences, ask for advice, and get inspiration for ways to bring technology into your classroom.
Building a personal learning network (PLN) can help you get the most out of your time online. Rather than searching blindly for topics that you teach, you can make a curated list of educators to follow.
Twitter is a great social network to use to build your PLN. You can follow a community by following an education based hashtag, or you can follow educators directly. There are many Twitter lists that exist that contain educators you can follow based upon grade, subject, or location where you teach. These lists will give you a starting point of who to follow
While it may be tempting to just have someone tell you who to follow, it’s important to spend the time to curate your network so you’re getting value from it. Follow educators that you inspire to be like, that have innovative ideas you’d like to try, or that are in the same state or country as you. Start off small – it’s better to have a few quality educators in your list that you can follow, rather than be overwhelmed with a large list.