Posted on 10/18/2013 at 09:07 AM by Global Reach

October is/was Connected Educator Month and is an initiative of the Office of Educational Technology at the United States Department of Education.  Obviously, the Department of Education sees great value in helping educators connect with one another. Technology can certainly be one of the  vehicles educators can use to connect with each other.  One area where technology helps learners connect is in the area of professional development. No one has to be isolated any longer because of location or subject taught.

Recently I attended I.T.E.C. and one of the sessions I attended was, Personalizing Your PD. Judy Griffin from Green Hills AEA, shared the many technological tools educators can use to connect and more importantly learn from each other. Judy shared a quote from her Twitter feed, @snbeach, "We will never differentiate learning for kids until we differentiate professional learning for teachers." How true! What are some tools we can use to do that?

Instead of me listing those tools verbatim. I'll share Judy's PowerPoint with you and make some editorial comments of my own on some of the things she mentioned.

First of all Twitter is a great tool. Using hashtags is an easy way to link to others who share similar interests as you do. As instructional technology teachers, you might consider #edchat, or #edtechchat for ideas and personal learning that will benefit you. Cybrary Man also has a list of educational hashtags of interest.  I've talked about Richard Byrne on a number of occasions. Judy mentioned his blog, Free Technology For Teachers, as well. I can't say enough good things about EdWeb. EdWeb has many communities and many beneficial webinars hosted by subject content experts. By joining EdWeb, you'll have access to all the recorded webinars. I've participated in quite a few webinars hosted by EdWed and have never been disappointed. The Teaching Channel is also a wonderful place to learn from other teachers. Video clips of teacher demonstrating and modeling a specific strategy is a wonderful way to see how to do something. Sarah Brown Wessling, Iowa's Teacher of the Year, is a frequent contributor to the site. Finally, Agora is an online community that is in development right now in Iowa. Hopes are to connect Iowa educators across the state.  I'll share more as I learn more about it.

I hope you'll find some ways to connect with colleagues no matter where they are located. I also hope you'll share these tools with the teachers in your schools.



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