What does it mean to have a connected classroom and where do I see value for my classroom, students, and school?
From what I have learned so far in class, from reading our book, and our #wsucohort1 Twitter Chats, this is what I can summarize about having a connected classroom:
1. It all starts with the teacher. If you do not buy into the value of connecting, and try to connect yourself, it is going to be really difficult to create a sense of connection for your classroom and students.
2. Connection can be as simple as going on Twitter, sharing student work, creating a personal learning network with other professionals on the site, and finding other local connections to make.
3. Having a thin-walled classroom is also important to creating a connected setting. Parents and other classrooms/teachers should know and see what you are doing with your students.
4. Getting to students to buy into connecting might take some extrinsic motivation. Whether it's a competition, expert visits, or working with other students from different schools, students need to see the value in why they should go out and make their own learning networks - at least in the beginning.
5. Connecting means putting yourself out there - and we shouldn't be afraid to do it! Having to connect and share can seem a little stressful to me, but seeing how students benefit from this level of connection outweigh and negative feedback I might receive.
Here's a great short article from Edutopia that fits really well with being connected and gives us all some more tips on how we can make this change.
For my class, as a STEM teacher, I can see many valuable outcomes coming from a connected classroom. All from engineering design challenges, to collaborating in a genius hour project, or even experimenting with different 3D printer projects, I know there are many ways to connect. One of the challenges I have to overcome is to just trying some different things out! If I can start small with these types of connections, I know that over time, it will lead to great learning opportunities for myself and my students.