Monday, June 13, 2016

Rules of Engagement - Being A Connected Educator


As we continue to grow as educators, we know that there are key elements to being a connected leader that are essential to our impact on others, and ourselves. Whether having read Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger or What Connected Educators Do Differently by Whitaker, Casas and Zoul, it is ever apparent that being connected is imperative to our success. We can not afford to be disconnected. As we dive into the connected world, keep in mind the following:

1. Follow. There is an endless number of educators that will expand your own knowledge when it comes to the profession in which you've chosen. As you take to twitter, blogging, podcasts and other platforms of sharing of information, hold on for the ride as you will be immersed in information. Make sure you are following people that can grow you as a learner. As is known in the twittersphere, growing your PLN (Professional Learning Network) is a game-changer for your growth as an educator.

2. Lead. Get your message, your passion and your desire for teaching AND learning out there to the greater educational community by taking a leadership role in the connected community by what you post. There is no net that can contain the amount of information that you can share via twitter, blogging or other creative forms of social media like podcasts and blab. Regardless of your role, we are all leaders in our profession and your voice needs to be heard.

3. Observe. As important as it is to follow and lead, there is also plenty to be learned from simply observing other connected educators. Make sure you check out the landscape of what is out there and take time to digest what you come across your device. Don't feel obligated to respond to everything you see and read all of the time. Just like sharing, observing can be equally as fulfilling in your growth as a connected educator.

4. Engage. Get into conversations with colleagues over a post, topic or blog that has inspired you to grow as a leader. And, equally as powerful is to engage in a conversation with others that you may not be aligned with. If you come across something that sparks your curiosity, then by all means dive into the topic. One of the greatest purposes of sharing out information is to get feedback from others. It is an essential piece of the process.

5. Inspire. A fear for some with social media is that what we share may have little to no value to others. There is a struggle with our own sense of failure when it comes to being connected. Remember that you have an amazing opportunity to impact the work of your connected colleagues near and far. Your life experiences, along with those around you, have the potential to inspire others on their journey of being an even better educator. Getting connected was half the battle. Now that you are, get out there and share your story.

If you have stumbled upon this post, you most likely are already a connected educator in your professional growth. Being connected is powerful. It will grow you in all aspects of your work. Model to others the impact that this has on your teaching and learning.