Tech, Teaching and Me

Trying to turn off my brain by writing it down

What Does Connected Education Mean to You?

on October 10, 2014

 

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I have been reading the blogposts of my friend, Bonnie Birdsall, over the last few weeks and admire her commitment to regular blogging. It has inspired me to dust off my own blog, combine a few of the accounts I had floating in cyberspace, and give it a try too. I am a week or so behind the October’s Connected Educator Thoughtful Thursday Challenge inspired by TeachThought, but that’s okay. I will start with their first challenge of the month: “What does connected education mean to you?

As I consider the prompt, many thoughts flood my mind. First, I don’t know if I have ever really thought about connected EDUCATION, though I regularly discuss connected EDUCATORS. It may seem to be a small change with a difference of only a few letters, but it does create a significant difference in my thoughts. Upon reflection, I began to think about connected education regarding educators, students, classrooms, and me. Honestly, all of those topics overwhelmed me a bit. In an effort to ease my return to a regular blogging routine, I decided it was best to just focus on one of those ideas. I reigned in my thoughts (which can be a very difficult thing for me to do, sometimes) and narrowed it down to one: connected education and me.

Plain and simple, connected education for me is a lot of hard work. Pernille Ripp explained it better than I ever could in her post, “The Downside to Being a Connected Educator.” Connecting through Twitter, Twitter Chats, Google+, Voxer,  blogs, connecting at conferences & workshops takes time and energy…. a lot of time and energy. It is not always easy for me to do. But it is important to me and that is why I do it. It is the same reason I make sacrifices to exercise regularly. I find value in the effort. I connect because from those connections I learn and I grow as an educator and as a person. I connect because I believe it brings more authentic learning experiences to students. There are unexpected benefits I have discovered, too. Often, I start to read an article believing it will assist me with a professional objective, but in the end I realize I also learned something that relates to my family or my health.

So, what does connected education mean to me? It means putting in the time, the hard work, and the effort and in return I receive an education that spreads through my life in surprising ways.

 

* Image created by me with WordSwag.

 


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