I can’t believe October is right around the corner. Time is flying by. My colleagues and I have been busy designing and implementing amazing lessons in our classes. This year marks the official beginning of NDB’s +1 Policy. Students are required to bring a laptop of their choice and additional technologies will be used to enhance learning and engage everyone in the classroom. Soon departments will have a set of iPads for media exploration and creation. Cell phones will be used. We have probeware and biotech equipment to support the continued evolution of our inquiry based science program. It is a very exciting time right now that brings challenges as well. The main question is how do we find the time and the resources for the training we need to integrate the technology?
The answer is, we have to dedicate the time by making a clear choice to find resources and get connected. To me, the value of being a connected educator far outweighs the time it takes to develop my PLN. The most incredible, useful, engaging professional development I have ever done has happened because of Twitter.
Yes, it takes time to engage in chats, send tweets with meaningful information, and respond to others, but it is so well worth the effort! There have been times I have posted a question on Twitter and received replies within minutes. There are others out there who know the answers and I save my time by learning from them and not having to search. Crowdsourcing has become a skill that I not only employ, but I also teach my students how to leverage. Now the question is how can I encourage others to invest their precious time and become connected?
Along comes Connected Educator Month, which is a great time for all educators to focus on developing their Professional Learning Network (PLN).
This October, EduBlogger has set up a Build your PLN Teacher Challenge. Their challenge provides opportunities for newbie and veteran connected educators to kick start their own learning. Join the conversation on Twitter using #CE14. Head to Connected Educators for more ideas and a calendar of amazing events during October. They also have a badging system set up for you to document your PD and share it with your PLN and administrators. You can even nominate colleagues for badges. Now that’s a fun way to encourage one another!
If you’re reading this you must be connected to the Internet, which means you are already on your way to developing your connectedness. It starts with one click at a time. The more you invest, the more benefit you will receive. As I connect with others on topics that are of value to me, I find that I am more enthusiastic about the curriculum and activities in my classes. My passion for science and technology integration continues to grow and that translates into enhanced learning and engagement for my students. Now that is time well spent!