5 Quick Tips on Becomming a Connected Educator [Edutopia]

Edutopia blogger gives 5 quick tips for new educators on how to become connected educators.

Aligning with August’s theme of being Connected Educator Month, Edutopia recently compiled a group of articles about connected educators. One article deals with how to encourage new educators to become connected educators. Edutopia blogger, Lisa Michelle Dabbs, lets readers in on five educator attitudes that make it easier to be a connected educator.

1) Be Able to Define What It Means to Be a Connected Educator

What is a Connected Educator? Great question, because this is the piece that needs defining. As a new teacher, take the time to figure that out for yourself. Don’t be surprised if you aren’t quite sure. Let your personal meaning evolve as you make your discoveries. Here are some resources to help get you started: What is a Connected Educator? (excerpt); Connectedness as a Standard; A Day in the Life of a Connected Educator (infographic); What’s a PLN?; and Building Relationships as a Connected Educator. Read each one and/or view the resources. Then reflect on the question. Does it make more sense now?

2) Be Knowledgeable about Web 2.0

What is Web 2.0? Take a minute to read this great definition from the K12 Learning 2.0 Wiki:

The term “Web 2.0” can be applied across broad categories of emerging technology tools and design principles, social and economic shifts, business philosophies, participatory media and culture, etc. . . . Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networking and social bookmarking sites, tagging, photo- and video-sharing, RSS, etc. . . .) are collaborative, Internet-based and user-driven. They include platforms and tools for publishing, connecting, sharing, organizing and remixing. They are social.

3) Be Willing to Join a Social Media Network

As a new teacher, you may at times feel isolated. The power of an online community is that you can probably find someone else who’d like some company. More than that, it’s a way to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You can also freely contribute, or ask a question. For starters, consider joining our New Teacher Connections Group here on Edutopia. You can also find other great communities such as The Educator’s PLN, which will offer wonderful opportunities to connect to resources you may have never known existed!

4) Become a Blogger

I often hear excuses from new teachers as to why they don’t blog: “It’s too hard. I’m too tired. I just don’t have anything to say.” I hope that during this month of focus on connected educators, you will consider ditching those excuses. Many teachers are blogging, and I can’t say enough about the power of blogging in your life as a new teacher. It will help you reflect, get feedback, collaborate . . . and connect! I was a novice blogger two years ago, and I’m pleased to share that my blogging experience will always be a journey of discovery — I kind of like that.

5) Be Reflective and Reach Out

When you look back on the journey of this month, you’ll find that you need to share your experiences. I want you to capture these reflections in a journal, on your blog, or with an online diary. The ability of a journal to allow for personal reflections is a gift. In the process of your own journal writing, you will come up with great ideas of how to do this in the future with your students.

To  get a little more perspective on these tips for creating connected educators, read the full article on the Edutopia website!


Published August 17, 2012