Sunday, October 6, 2013

Connected Educator Month? Yes, Please!

I’m not usually a huge fan of specially designated days, weeks or months. Don’t get me wrong, I like to celebrate and am a fan of Mother’s day and Father’s day.  I just start to draw the line at Octopus Day & World Lizard Day. (Although, Talk Like a Pirate Day does sound like fun! Don’t believe these days exist?  Check out this calendar of all specially designated days)  

There is however, a new designation for the month of October that I am paying attention to. The Department of Education has designated October as “Connected Educator Month” and strives to help educators thrive in a connected world by:
  • getting more educators “connected” (to each other)
  • deepening and sustaining learning of those already connected
  • stimulating and supporting collaboration and innovation in professional development.

These goals are more important than ever as we prepare students for an interconnected world. Just recently I read Five Essentials to Create Educated Students, by Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) which further emphasizes the need for educators to be connected as a foundational step towards positive change. Not sure what connected learning looks like, check out this New York Times article that shares twenty-eight examples of connected learning.  

There are real conversations happening about changing education on so many different levels.  I encourage you to get connected and start participating in the conversation.  Whether you are a parent or teacher here are a few things you can do:
  • connect using social media (Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+)  follow @lasdk8, but also follow other educators for a broader sense of what is happening in education
  • engage in the connected educators book club or read one of the books they are suggesting to help push your own thinking (Invent to Learn, The Connected Educator, Teacherpreneurs)
  • join a twitter chat - not sure there is something for you?  Check out this list of all the education related twitter chats . I personally contribute weekly to a Design Thinking chat every Wed night (#dtk12chat) and try to join an Administrator Chat on Mon night (#edleadchat). I couldn't ask for better professional learning and have connected with some amazing educators who help me grow ideas and challenge assumptions.

Already connected?  You aren’t off the hook.  I challenge you during the month of October to help your colleagues become more connected.  Are all of the teachers on your grade level or in your department connected?  If not, start there.  During the month of October, I hope we can get every LASD teacher connected to global conversations about learning! 

Contributed by Alyssa Gallagher, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Community Partnerships

Photo:  World-social-media-network-19958630 from

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