Connected Educator Month: It’s Not Too Late to Participate

October 23rd, 2013

Category: Policy and Practice

In its last few weeks, Connected Educator month continues to bring educators together through cutting-edge, high-quality, online learning activities. This week, activities include: “Improving Student Engagement With Classroom Wikis;” “Teq: Webinar: Prezi;” “Campfire Webinar with RAFFI” (Note: Yes folks, this is the Raffi that sings Baby Balooga in the Deep Blue sea); and “Multimedia Essays.” All of these courses are free to anyone.

If you are an educator and haven’t already signed up for a course, I recommend you do. I recently attended a course on MOOCs and I was completely blown away by the personalized learning possibilities for all students. As you listen and interact, note who is teaching the course and reach out to them—Connected Educator month, as its name suggests, is about connecting. Make an effort to “think big” about personalizing instruction in your classrooms, and how these connections can make it happen. Ask questions, especially about implementation—learn about how these ideas have been scaled in Delaware. Open your mind and be inspired. Some of this stuff such as social media in the classroom may sound far-out. Reflect on the concepts, however far-fetched they may seem to you, and think about how they will personalize the learning experience for your students.

As we think about Connected Educator month, we must continue to think about school internet capacity and connectivity. Secretary Arne Duncan recently made this connection in a public announcement on YouTube. Right now, when it comes to federal funding for connectivity, schools are mired in red tape through an antiquated system called E-Rate. The program successfully connected schools in the 1990s, but today serves as barrier to federal funds for public schools supporting modern innovation. In June, President Obama launched the ConnectEd initiative in which he is challenging the FCC to modernize E-Rate. With the recent federal government shutdown, there has been little fanfare about its progress. However, I urge educators to continue monitoring this and offering comment to your federal legislators. Connected Educator Month only can be effective with connected schools

Matthew Korobkin

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