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Being a connected educator

What does it mean to be a connected educator?

Are you one?

What activities, tools, and resources help you connect?

Think about educators you know who aren't connected. What might we do to include them in this month's activities and in the broader connected community?

Use the Post Comment link to share your thoughts.

Challenge: Find a teacher who isn't connected and share these resources.

Additional resources and activities related to this topic:

(Feel free to add to this list by clicking Edit at the top of this page.)



Web resources

Task Discussion

  • Tellio   Aug. 10, 2012, 10:19 a.m.

    I am trying to answer all of the questions above in the context of connecting with fboss, an art teacher from Ireland, by using Storify.

    I want to use this Storify to connect, to demonstrate overtly what it means to try to connect, to ask whether this is the way one can do this, and to model for some teachers how connection must be reciprocal.  You will find the link to my Storify here.  (I really wish that p2pu could embed these as well as vialogues) 

  • karen   Aug. 10, 2012, 2:54 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 10, 2012, 10:19 a.m.

    Re: embedding, I wish that too. Right now, it is a constraint of Embedly, which is the tool P2PU uses for embeds (to address security concerns).

    I love your Storify! (I also somehow never saw that you could put text blocks in a Storify. Don't know how I missed that, but thanks!)

  • Tellio   Aug. 10, 2012, 3:55 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Aug. 10, 2012, 2:54 p.m.

    So long as we are asking for a wish list it would be very cool if we could use a twitter name as a tag to indicate who is 'connected' to a post and as a way to indicate you wish to become connected to a post or comment.  Instead of having just threaded discussion we could also tagged discussions.  Does this capability even exist?  If it doesn't,then it should.

  • karen   Aug. 10, 2012, 4:07 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 10, 2012, 3:55 p.m.

    Nice idea! I'll pass it on. I don't think there is currently any concept of tags in discussion posts. What would the aggregation of this look like? Would you end up with a user page of all the discussions you are tagged in? Or...?

    Would you want to tag discussion posts by things other than Twitter name (or P2PU name for folks not on Twitter??)?

  • Sheri Edwards   Aug. 10, 2012, 5:21 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Aug. 10, 2012, 4:07 p.m.

    Hmm.. I'm wondering if we could tag conversations with hashtags. That way a conversation in one group with a hastag #diigo could find all the conversations about Diigo. Just a thought.

  • Tellio   Aug. 10, 2012, 6:18 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Aug. 10, 2012, 4:07 p.m.
    I think of tagging in diigo and evernote as my model. You would have an author tag, maybe a large category tag like you can get in a wordpress blog, then maybe a specific item tag. All the tags would get recorded in a central database. You could search your own library as well as the community library. And, yes, I think we could use P2PU names. Of course, I could be wrong. ;-) On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM, kfasimpaur <
  • Tellio   Aug. 5, 2012, 1 p.m.

    Here is another way to be a connected learner/teacher/educator:  share a video.

    I have used this tool in other P2PU courses and found it to be a very handy way to connect through and with videos.  The tool is called Vialogues and the video in this case is a wonderful one courtesy of the awesomely creative folks at RSA Animate: Manuel Lima, "The Power of Networks."   

    Kevin Hodgson and I are currently swapping to and fro there.  I have invited Lima to join us as well as a few other folks outside the regular teacher channel who showed interest in Google +.  I would love to have you all drop by and watch the video if nothing else (but something more would be better ;-))

    Here are a couple of other resources for connecting:

    1.  A Diigo list with connected educator and Manuel Lima resources

    2.  A public Google doc that I will update regularly with the conversation that unfolds on the Vialogue above.

    Just a peek into the discussion with this word cloud that I generated from the Google doc above. 

    Interesting that the following words rise to the top:  connections, more, shift, all.  What do you make of those particular word frequencies?

  • Sheri Edwards   Aug. 4, 2012, 2:13 a.m.


    What does it mean to be a connected educator?

    Are you one?

    What activities, tools, and resources help you connect?

    The Connected Educator:

    Think about educators you know who aren't connected. What might we do to include them in this month's activities and in the broader connected community?

    Besides many tweets, I've sent an invitation via email to our staff with links to the schedule, and written one short blog post so far.

    We'll have a workshop together soon which will offer a time to share experiences and start the conversation to help them find something in which to participate. 

    Our State education department, Office of the Superintendend of Public Instruction, has sent out wonderful email invitation via their Tech Department.

    A personal invitation is always helpful. Setting up a space and time to share together would also help those timid to jump in. Help them along the journey -- join a webinar with them to show how it works. Think about what sessions would best fit your favorite "disconnected" colleague. What would help them take the next step? For instance, on Sunday, August 5th is a Common Core Open House. Most teachers want more information on this. There's a Twitter Chat --"Join @MediaCASTstream on Twitter for a lively discussion of ways technology can be used to help educators stay connected. #CEMchat" at noon Eastern August 8th.  Chat right beside them to show how it works. Find something that connects to their practice and step into it with them.

    What will you do?

  • karen   Aug. 4, 2012, 1:37 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Sheri Edwards   Aug. 4, 2012, 2:13 a.m.

    Sending emails, leveraging f2f workshops and other meetigns , and making personal invitations are very powerful ideas. And ones that really reach out to those not already connected.

    I have added "Being a Connected Eductor" as a session to the next few conferences I'm presenting at.

  • Tellio   Aug. 5, 2012, 1:46 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Sheri Edwards   Aug. 4, 2012, 2:13 a.m.

    Do you plan on having a  few games in this introductory work?

  • Sheri Edwards   Aug. 6, 2012, 3:11 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 5, 2012, 1:46 p.m.

    Hello Tellio (Terry) !

    Games. It's a mindset I need to wrap my mind around. Interaction. Give and Take. Look, Find, Share. I definitely work from an active learning mode with staff and students, but I don't think of them as games. 

    How about a QR Code Scavenger Hunt. The QR Codes lead to CEM sites for workshops. The goal is to build curiosity. The task is to find 3 sessions of value to you. Choose 1 and ask 3 questions about it. Discuss possible answers and application to the classroom. Hopefully, the discussion will lead to attending a CEM session.

    A similar activity could occur regarding tech tools. QR codes send staff to artificats from other teachers and / or students. Staff choose a tool, write questions, and then we discuss possible answers and application. The goal is to garner interest in tools that the staff could easily use and would then choose with this simple introduction.

    Please share an idea you have; I know your mind works with tech so well. I'm still in transition.

    Thanks for challenging me.  Sheri

  • Tellio   Aug. 10, 2012, 10:28 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Sheri Edwards   Aug. 6, 2012, 3:11 a.m.

    QR Codes are a great way to start this.  Kevin Hodgson is my go to guy for stuff like this, but I might point you to a guy who does games in real life.  His name is Thiagi and he has a great newsletter and free resources for games/simulations for meetings:

    I think the thing to do here is to see how you can digitize these mostly analog games.  I haven't done this but I am willing to try if you are.  Let me know if any of these games appeal to you and we can go back and forth via--googledoc?

  • Sheri Edwards   Aug. 10, 2012, 6:03 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 10, 2012, 10:28 a.m.

    I haven't visited that site for a while -- years, but I have heard of it. I thank you for thinking of it. I found one actually for my classroom.


    I've done some of this before digitally using google docs. Each kid adds individually to one of Google Docs a summary (or other prompt) of our topic. They decide and revise as needed -- either on one computer or through comments. Then students switch to another teams' document and reads / adds in the document or as comments. With Google Docs format, there's time to do more than one team, which is nice. Then the students return to their original document to review and revise their final ideas. By sharing the four summaries/prompts now as a whole class, we can choose, collaborate, revise, and clarify easily.


    Since we're talking about "change," this one might be a good one, digital or not, to move people forward.

    1. Three linoit with prompts: Participants respond with their stickies. It's anonymous.

    a. What is your reaction when you think about using new technology? Looking back, how have you reacted in the past, and how could you have reacted better?

    b. What are some of the questions that you have or have had when asked to use new technology? How did you get answers to these questions? How could you have done a better job of getting answers to the questions?

    c. What new professional skills do or did you have to learn to use new technology? How quickly and effectively did you learn these skills? How could you have done better?

    2. In three Google Docs, ask teams to each analyse one of the linoits to answer the question:

    Prepare a set of guidelines on how to effectively cope with the organizational change of infusing new technology.

    3. Each team then reviews the other set of guidelines and offers ideas.

    4. Teams review and finalize their original guidelines.

    5. Grab all the guidelines into one Google Presentation and ask participants if the final ideas represent the possible strategies for continuing the change. Allow revisions. Ask participants to place their names on the "Credits" slide.

    6. Let each participant create a tagxedo of the guidelines in picture each chooses.

    I'm not sure I'd lead this myself; but it is part of the school leader's task to help people cope with change, and move to the change. This activity might help.

    Thanks again. Sheri

  • Tellio   Aug. 10, 2012, 6:23 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Sheri Edwards   Aug. 10, 2012, 6:03 p.m.
    I want to dig into this more closely tonight, but I was so happy to see good ol' linoit in here. My intern and I used that to great effect last Spring to create to do lists and collaborative list. Glad you use them. More on your suggestions later tonight. On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 5:03 PM, sheri <
  • Tellio   Aug. 14, 2012, 8:46 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Sheri Edwards   Aug. 10, 2012, 6:03 p.m.

    Summaries are one of the deep skills that you can never practice enough.  One of the tools I use to very good effect is Diigo's annotation extraction.  It took me awhile to adopt that tool, but it is very useful especially for group annotation.  It could be used in conjunction with Google Docs/Forms and their comment function.  I do summaries with students every day--the writing coach's 'wind sprints' for his players.

    I love how messy the "Change" idea is.  Messy means lots of boundaries to push up against.  I think technology is the perfect tool for setting up these permeable boundaries.  By boundaries I mean 'responding to questions', using linoit, teams, Google docs, creating a product--a guideline--, combining guidelines into a larger one, reflection, revision, deciding on who gets credit, and using tagxedo to create a word cloud into a metaphor. 

    This is a classic example of opening up the doors to the adjacent possible

    I think I might use Thiagi's icebreaker, Wishes.  What this game does is generate participant wishes for a training session.  Instead I will use a Google Form (3X5 cards could work just fine) to ask them what their wishes are for the year.  I will do this at the beginning of the first class.  I will do this at the end of the class again after we have had a conversation as a class about the purpose of the writing class, its core ideas, and where we will 'walk' over the course of the semester.  We can look over the differences between their initial, usually unformed notions of what a college comp class is all about and what I expect of them in it. 

    Thanks for playing the Thiagi Game with me, Sherri.  Anyone else want to play/connect?

  • Tellio   Aug. 14, 2012, 8:52 a.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Aug. 4, 2012, 1:37 p.m.

    I think personal invitations are straight ahead and effective at least it works for me.  I expect that it is very similar to closing the deal in sales.  Your invite people to buy it.  An invitation is similar--you ask people to buy into a connection.  Sometimes you need to lay the groundwork for that with something reciprocal, sometimes what you are 'selling' is so compelling no additional anteing up is needed. 

  • Sheri Edwards   Aug. 14, 2012, 11:58 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 14, 2012, 8:46 a.m.



    Thanks for kind words again.  I love the idea of "adjacent possible." I truly believe that is how we learn, and that education provides the "parts" and suggests the "skills" so learners can innovate their own possibilities and "good ideas," as the article suggests:
    "...the way that good ideas usually come into the world. They are, inevitably, constrained by the parts and skills that surround them."
    In the Change activity, I am hoping for exploration of ideas -- that the tools we use will may inspire others to use them in other ways as well as for this activity. And perhaps our ideas for this project will be innovative for our team:
    "The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them."
    I hope the tools and the process "are the building blocks that create—and limit—the space of possibility for a specific problem."
    I like messiness with order for the possible and delightful innovation and surprise that arises. I like the adjacent learning that occurs.
    Adjacent Possible. Awesomely Powerful.
    Attitude Percolator. Answer Provider.
    Another Possible. Amply imProved.
    Thanks for the ideas; the Wishes activity is very interesting. I wonder if this would work (I'm thinking of my own staff now):
    Start with paper: write a wish for the year.
    Do the 30 second mix up and trade without reading the papers.
    Participants pair up and choose a wish.
    Use the mediators if necessary.
    The chosen wish is then typed on a linoit sticky-- lined up in a column on the left side of the linoit or in a table in a google document.
    Now each person takes one wish and moves it one spot to the right. If their wish has already been moved, move it to over one more spot until everyone has moved one wish.
    Look over the wishes most to the right and discuss the questions:

    What are the benefits of implementing this wish?

    What should the facilitator do to realize this wish?

    What should the participants do to realize this wish?

    Might be fun.
  • Valerie Burton   Aug. 2, 2012, 9:44 p.m.

    What does it mean to be a connected educator?

    To me a connected educator is one who uses technology to build and enhance their Personal Learning Network and connect with others.  Whether this connection happens via Twitter, Google+, Edmodo, or any of the many other learning platforms available.  You are sharing ideas and resources with other educators interested in the same things.

    Are you one?

    Yes, I am.  I connect with others via all of the methods I mentioned above and many more.  I find my PLN to be invaluable.  There is nothing more powerful than talking to a group of people who speak your language.

    Think about educators you know who aren't connected. What might we do to include them in this month's activities and in the broader connected community?

    Show them the power of the connectedness.  Whether you are connecting your classes to collaborate on common projects or connecting with colleagues to share ideas and resources, it is important that we allow the 'lurkers' to see the benefits of making connections online.  It is so much more than the spooky online dating connections of the past. My PLN members are my friends and I seriously respect their voice and opinions.

  • Tellio   Aug. 5, 2012, 1:45 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Valerie Burton   Aug. 2, 2012, 9:44 p.m.

    Gotta love your Storify.  Already made lots of new connections to a group Google Doc, to a principal just starting school and wondering about connectedness as a 'standard', to following the #CE12 hashtag, to....well I will be following your Storify. 

    To me this is what being connected is all about. I can only quote from the comment I made to the principal you connected me to, Eric Sheninger, and his blog, A Principal's Reflections:

    I think we are already connected and just don't know it. It is the ways that we connect both useful and not that we need to be aware of. As a principal I charge you as the one who must help others see their connections. When someone gives without thought of return, that is a connection that you need to trumpet. When someone gives credit and 'light' to others that needs to be shared. When you uncover hidden connections you must help others find them in their own teaching lives and they must pass them on.

    I think that as you work with your teachers on their PLN's you need to show them how they can connect within text boxes like this and video boxes like YouTube and audio ones like Soundcloud and, need to remind them that it is the connections behind these boxes that matter. And you need to remind them there is such a wealth of connection within their immediate world to make life rich and complete for all of them and their students.

    Lastly, you need to help them connect with the profound shift that is taking place beneath or feet right now. You need to help them connect with the fact that each of us is connected to everyone else including our students, our staff, parents, and stakeholder near and far.

    I also recommended the Manual Lima video as a way to connect to his teachers.  Thanks again for anteing  up with the Storify.  Good pump priming!

  • algotruneman   July 31, 2012, 9:49 a.m.

    Gleaned from Twitter stream 7/31 at appx. 938AM

    "No longer are we on isolated islands, we can learn from each other as long as we make the effort to be connected." #140edu

    shaunaedson -Retweeted by JohnMarr

  • Sheri Edwards   Aug. 10, 2012, 6:04 p.m.
    In Reply To:   algotruneman   July 31, 2012, 9:49 a.m.

    Love the quote! Thanks for adding it!

  • Tellio   Aug. 14, 2012, 8:55 a.m.
    In Reply To:   algotruneman   July 31, 2012, 9:49 a.m.

    The big caveat here--as long as we make the effort.  There is a universe in that phrase.  It would be interesting to have you flesh out what that means in particular terms.  For example, some folks say thanks any time someone has put a little 'manna' on the waters.  I like recognizing others for selflessness.  What other examples of making the effort are out there?

  • karen   Aug. 14, 2012, 5:26 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 14, 2012, 8:55 a.m.

    One example of "making the effort" to me is responding in some way. A comment on a photo, an answer to a tweet, a comment on a blog post -- they all mean a lot to me!

  • algotruneman   Aug. 14, 2012, 5:57 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Aug. 14, 2012, 5:26 p.m.



    Just as Tellio illustrated here, by a genuine comment.

    "Making the effort" IS the connection.

    In conversation, face to face, the opening "Hello" is followed frequently by "Hi. How are you?" The "How are you? is actually a throw away question. If it is answered, perhaps with, "Fine." that may end the conversation. If, on the other hand, you say, "Fantastic!" with the emphasis indicated by the exclamation point, you can extend the conversation because the other person is surprised and may want to continue the casual interaction. They want to know if you really feel that great.

    On line, an engaging comment can make a difference and begin or enrich the connection.

    Thanks, Tellio for making the effort.

    It might even make someone make the effort to check your profile and learn that you are Terry from Kentucky, in addition to Tellio.

  • Sheri Edwards   Aug. 14, 2012, 11:14 p.m.
    In Reply To:   algotruneman   Aug. 14, 2012, 5:57 p.m.

    Hello Algot,

    I appreciated your quote. Making the effort is a connection. And sometimes we don't know in what directions that effort takes before and after that connection. As you say, some people might check on Terry's profile, or find and follow you on twitter! Some of those "other" actions are not visible, and I appreciate simple efforts. It just might mean more going on behind the scenes!