Saturday, October 4, 2014

October is Connected Educator month! #ce14

October is Connected Educator month and I thought I would take some time to reflect on how being connected has changed, no transformed my life both personally and professionally. The summer of 2012 seems like it was just yesterday, but the day I learned about Google Apps from Joe Wood at the Area 3 Writing Project Summer Institute was the day my life changed. Sound silly? Google? Life changing? YES! Because that was the day I realized I could connect with anyone, anywhere and that technology was magic!

Then, I heard Donalyn Miller speak and she said that we all needed to get on Twitter. Best PD ever and you can do it in your pajamas. Twitter? Wasn't that just for celebrities? I decided to follow her advice. Best decision ever! Follow Donalyn and read The Book Whisperer!

Once I got the hang of Twitter, I realized that many of the amazing educators, authors, and librarians I was following were also blogging to reflect about their learning, leading, and reading lives. After Joe Wood suggested I connect with Linda Yollis, an elementary blogger, I started blogging with my first grade class, mostly about books since I wasn't sure what else to blog about! My students and families loved it! And then I left the classroom. Uh oh! What would I blog about? So I jumped in and started a personal blog. Here's a link to my first post.

Since then, it's been a whirlwind of AWESOME! Somehow, that day learning about Google has transformed my life in a way I could never have imagined. I have met so many amazing people via Twitter, at conferences, through blogging, and by having the opportunity to work with educators from all over as they begin their journey with technology. Here's a map with just some of the places I went last year to connect and learn! And just in the past month, I've gotten to connect face-to-face with educators in Glenn and Butte County, Roseville, Petaluma, and Sacramento, and some tweets from educators connecting.

Virtually, I'm now part of several Voxer groups who connect via a free walkie talkie app and my commute is now my daily source of inspiration! A blog post inspired on Voxer that I co-wrote with 3 other principals was recently published on Ed week! Amy Fadeji, an awesome principal from Petaluma visited our school to talk about getting our whole staff on Twitter! And just this morning I found out that Jessica Johnson, the Principal of the Year from Wisconsin is my virtual mentor for the year, thanks to a suggestion from Adam Welcome. Every day gets better and better. 

Digital tools can connect us to each other, and can also connect your district, classroom, or school to your families, your community, and the world. The kids in our school are telling our story through blogging, Instagram, and now AudioBoom! Below, check out what they have to say about what is happening in our school. Kids can be connected, too! 

Happy Connected Educator month! I look forward to connecting with you and hearing your story!

1 comment:

  1. @ Jennifer,

    Thanks so much for a fabulous post, and not just because you mentioned me! There are so many benefits for educators when we choose to connect.

    I was always a doubter about Twitter. Like you, I thought it was only for celebrities. However, when my friend @kathleen_morris from Australia recommended it, I gave it a try. I have been grateful ever since.

    Twitter is the best way to connect with like-minded people, get ideas, find projects and project participants, and feel supported. I sometimes feel a little isolated at my school, and Twitter is like a giant collaborative teachers' lounge! I my LOVE my PLN!

    Happy Connected Educator Month, Jennifer!

    ~Linda :-)