Did you know October is “Connected Educator Month”? Of those of us educators that are connected via Twitter, Facebook, Google + etc, We can’t miss it. Every 5th tweet in my stream seems to be promoting a #CE14 twitter chat or a webinar about connecting.
But what about unconnected educators? Do they even know that CE Month is happening? What is the purpose of Connected Educator Month? Is it for all of us who are connected to share how we connect with each other? I hope not. That would be “preaching to the choir”. We know how to connect. We use tools that we like and find engaging. We all have well established and growing Professional Learning Networks.
Connected Educator Month should be about helping those educators who aren’t connected to see the value of connecting. Connected educators need to reach out of their comfort zones of technology connections and connect with those not in our Professional Learning Network. This means spending energy to connect in a DIFFERENT mode. We can’t promote Twitter, Facebook, or Google + on those networks, we will only reach those that are already there. Having a Connected Educator conversation on twitter draws in nobody new.
As I walk the hallways of my school, October has begun. The Principal has mentioned that it is National Bullying Prevention Month. High school conferences are on the horizon as well is progress report grades. Football and volleyball dominate the after school agenda, along with a fall dance, Homecoming at the high school and Halloween is in the air. No mentions of Connected Educator Month anywhere. .
How do we draw attention to the power of connections to the unconnected teacher? Many organizations have online magazines promoting CE Month. I even wrote an article for one last year. Few teachers have time to read these on a regular basis. We are too worried about reaching the students in front of us everyday. The power of connecting can really only be shared in small conversations. I recently has a conversation with two unconnected educators, they asked why and how I had time. I shared my story and experience. It helped them understand more. Will they connect? Maybe.
A better way that telling is showing! The Warren Education Association President has asked for help connecting on twitter. Since we have been friend for 3 years he has seen how I connect and he is trying something new. He has offered up his office conference room for me to show him and anyone else who wants to learn. Tonight during the #michED chat, We will be meeting up to connect. I will be showing a few people the how and answering questions.
Connected educators need to take the time to show others the power! Lets branch out! Have a Greet and Tweet. So that Connected Educator Month can be about adding more members to our connected community.