Is it important to be a connected educator?
When I think about being a "connected educator" I believe there are many different types of being connected. Yes, without a doubt, it is important to be connected. If we are not connected, if we close our doors, then students will only be taught what we are able to teach them from our own resources. Why would I ever want to limit the amount that my students learn?
I know I'm no expert in being connected, but I learned a lot this week about how teachers can become connected. There are many resources available online to grow our personal learning networks. Mentioned in Chapter 2 of Personal Learning Networks (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011), are the following: Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, Diigo, and of course Blogger. Before reading this chapter, I felt that Twitter was the go-to tool for connecting with other professionals. I am glad that I was able to expand my knowledge base with learning about tools like Diigo, that save and share favorite bookmarks. All of the sharing can really be beneficial for teachers' and students' learning. With one quick search on PLNs, I was able to find numerous websites and articles centered on the topic. (Link to Diigo search: https://www.diigo.com/tag/PLNs.)
Now that I know the tools, I just have to make a mental reminder to start using them on a regular basis. I think this is one of the most challenging parts of being a connected educator - staying connected. I just have to remember to be motivated to find these tools and share within them. I found the ladder analogy in our reading interesting. Sometimes, I can be totally into connecting and sharing, while other times, I feel I just don't have the time. But, like it was also stated in our reading, it's all about balance, finding the time to connect. I know this is important and if I want my students to be successful in their educational paths, I need to make this a priority in my own learning path!
Richardson, Will, and Rob Mancabelli. "Chapter 2: Becoming a Networked Leader." Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2011. N. pag. Print.