October is Connected Educator Month

Are you a connected educator?

Do you blog?

Do you use twitter?

Do you collaborate with other teachers at your own school and globally?

Do you take part in online conferences for PD?

Even though Connected Educator Month is a USA activity, there are many teachers from other countries also taking part. There is a starter kit you can download as a PDF from this site. For every day of the month of October, there are suggested activities to help you become more connected as an educator. You can find this on the PDF.

There are multiple themes running through the month of activities and you can also take part at a school or district level.

To find out more and take part, just sign up and then start connecting. There are badges you can earn to add to your own website or blog.

Day 1 is a bit of reading and finding out about being a connected learner. 

I spent most of my teaching life working in my own classroom, coming out for recess and lunch, spending time at staff meetings that really didn’t help a lot in the classroom or that I could have read about at home. It wasn’t until I started blogging and using the internet more that I realised I needed to become a connected learner so I could help my students become connected in their global world. I was on Twitter for nearly 6 months before I realised the value of making connections to other teachers overseas and on the mainland. I began creating documents that I could share with other teachers with similar interests, storing them in the cloud and sharing with others. I save most of my photos in Flickr so others can use the photos as well as they are licensed as creative commons. I take part in online conferences as both a participant, a moderator and also as a presenter. These allow me to develop the skills I need to help my students and other teachers to connect in our modern world.

Day 2 is looking at Web 2.0

When I first began using the internet more I was a consumer. I read and gathered information, created worksheets for students to find more information or to work as a team in a webquest. Students then typed out their responses,  printed them and gave them to me or they wrote the answers in their books. We were consumers and users of the internet. This was known as Web 1.0

But Web 2.0 has students as creators as well as consumers. Students are out there creating apps, creating games, films, videos, websites, blogs, sending out tweets, sharing documents across countries, uploading and downloading, using other Web 2.0 tools to embed on their blogs and ePortfolios. Often many students are way ahead of their teachers who often fear the unknown. Or they worry about no longer being in control of the classroom. This is where becoming connected as a learner, means you can allow the student to be the teacher.

How are you and the other staff at your school connected or do you still do most of your teaching in your own room with the door closed?

Finding and organizing resources

A few great places to find resources include:

Graphite from commonsense media

  • Discover apps, games, websites that have been reviewed and rated by teachers
  • Share with a community of teachers
  • Innovate with the right tools

PolarTREC: Polar region resources – articles, lessons, activities, interactive media

Power my learning – free and flexible way to integrate blended learning into your lessons – portal to some of the best educational games. activities, simulations and videos – search by subject, create personal playlists for each student if needed

21 things 4 students – suitable for students grade 6-8 – interactive program about vital technology concepts

Atomic learning now includes an iPad app

Teaching the inquiry process – includes apps, videos and tutorials

Schools that work – produced by Edutopia – links, videos

Apps in your classroom – apps, lessons, tutorials

Math Landing – resources and tools for primary teachers including apps

Edmentum – lots of different programs and courses for all ages

Cyber Science 3D – interactivity and reasoning – class, school or district license

Take students on virtual field trips around the world – a small cost associated with the site.

Looking at using eBooks in your library? Check out this site. Or check out Brain Hive here.

Do you find it difficult to get the most out of your interactive board? Check out Gynzy with a free trial.

Want to engage your classes inside the pages of any digital book, article, PDF or document? Check out Subtext - also available as an app.

Do you need to use a graphing calculator in your maths lessons? Here is one for free at Desmos

Online databases, streaming video. eBooks and eLearning modules all online – free trial available  at Infobase Learning.

Online resources for adaptive curriculum in maths and science, suited to middle school and high school students

An eReading platform for schools – online annotation, embed quizzes, immediate feedback for students – check it out at Gobstopper

 

Teaching technology and connecting with other teachers

Teacher playground includes resources, PD, lessons, tutorials

As a teacher, do you want to be more connected as an educator? Join in activities in October – some will be based in Australia even though this website is American.

Here are some online catalogues with useful programmes to buy: ShopK12,

Teachers First – a site for thinking teachers – free membership, 1000s resources, free PD

Want to do some online learning of your own? Check out FLO.

Want to buy, sell or create some teacher created resources? Head to the Teachers Notebook

 

Organizing resources

Got your own classroom library? Track student borrowing by using classroom organizer. Can also add eBooks to your library.