“Educators define who they are by what they do.” - Being a connected educator isn’t restricted just to be able to have a seamless communication, (the common concept). A connected educator is one who not only connects virtually but also is capable of building & joining personal and professional learning networks that accepts the collaborative nature and participatory culture of learning spaces.
To know “how connectedness empowers learning”, read below, the characteristics a connected educator must have.
Collaboration in the 21st century is no longer limited. The shift in professional education has been quick, enabled by the many tools that we now use for collaboration. Technology has provided us with the ability to communicate, curate, collaborate, and most importantly create with any number of educators, globally, at any time, and at very little cost. One would think educators would be celebrating in the streets at the good fortune of advancing their own learning while helping their profession evolve.
An educator must follow the blogs of others to get new ideas and consider different perspectives. Commenting on blog posts is a fairly risk-free way to connect with others. Becoming a blogger is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to become a connected educator. For many educators, blogging can become an essential part of their workflow, requiring digging deeper, engage in research, experimenting with the unknown, and reflecting. Sharing experiences and resources invites others to connect and helps build ones own PLN.
Its true that we don’t know many things and in order to know those things we need to connect with those who know about those things. They share to collaborate towards a collaborative action. An educator who is connected uses technology to collaborate with others for their own learning an then helps other with what they learn by sharing to shape a model. The educator who is connected no longer closes their classroom doors and carries on teaching. They actively enlist the help of others and offer their help in return.
Now, this is the benefit of dealing with many other educators. Their collaborative nature helps them build a circle of knowledgeable professionals whom they can turn to for professional knowledge needs. Educators who are connected develop this circle of all the experienced & knowledgeable professionals over time.
Connected educators are not afraid to try their hand at new things. They take risk to discover new, better and efficient ways of working for themselves and for those who will benefit from these new ways.
Connected educators add value by expressing themselves in most efficient manner. They ask questions and create apt dialogues. Praising and appreciating is easy but to stand by ones ideas is courageous. They act as a healthy critique of the ideas and are wise enough to agree to the qualitative convictions.
They understand the significant role of technology and integrates tech to aid their activities. Be it in the classroom to create better learning and teaching experience or outside classroom for seamless communication and managing their work. Even if they are not comfortable with the new technology, they are willing to explore its usage and will try to adapt to if it helps them for efficient working.
They don’t wait for someone to come and push them to develop their professional skills. They don’t wait for someone to deliver professional development to them instead they seek out professional development form their daily activities and also polish their learning needs.
They appreciate creativity instead of representing someone with particular specific things with specified ways. A connected educator is a relevant educator, willing to explore, question, elaborate, and advance ideas through connections with other educators who will look beyond a set of beliefs.
These educators actively participate on Twitter, write regularly in their blogs, take part in webinars to expand their knowledge, and contribute to online communities to help others grow. They realize that learning can and does happen anywhere, and they want to be a part of it wherever it occurs.
And most of all, A connected educator is as much a learner as a teacher.
Do you agree with this or is there any other point you’d like to add on?