“Being a Connected Educator is about being an Active Learner as opposed to a Passive Learner”
Can you be a connected if you don’t find the courage to share as well as have the dignity to listen?
Is being connected necessary?
I was left with these ponderings soon after our 4th Taupo Connected Teachers Meetup.
What an excellent afternoon I had joining Taupo Connected Teachers via Skype. Due to an unexpected infection, after much needed surgery to my poor old knees, I was unable to attend in person. In attendance was some regular faces and some new faces. Already we are showing growth.
The title of our workshop was ’21st Century Connected Teacher Tools’. We had 5 tools we wanted to help TCT with 1. Twitter 2. Feedly 3. Blogging 4. Diigo 5. The VLN
Technically we could add number 6. Skype
The Key messages I thought I would like teachers to leave with:
1. Manage the purpose of your connections.
2. Growing a network increases your professional support beyond what your school can offer you.
3. Develop your Professional Inquiry through your connections and share it with others.
4. Develop Digital Citizenship Skills as you become more and more connected.
5. Being connected is a two way street; to get the best from your connections start sharing.
I would like to acknowledge @virtualkaren and her blog post 7 characteristics of a true connected educator which inspired the key messages. @leighhynes also needs a mention because she is my rock in moving forward with our purpose and vision for growing a Taupo Connected Teachers group. Thanks Leigh!
In I walked carrying my bag of shoes to teach the students how to find ‘good fit’ books. Again I got this method from the ‘Daily 5. It is a great illustration of how books that don’t interest you, don’t have a purpose or are simply too big or too small can interfere with your enjoyment of a book. After a good discussion and models of how to choose a ‘good fit’ book using the iPick method, the students went with their teacher to the library armed with a method to choose a good book that interests them and they can read.
The next day I went in to find out how they got on, some of the students were very excited with their finds in the library it was truly delightful to listen to their stories. Then we looked at the visual we had created on the best way to read a book and some students got the opportunity to model the best way and what it doesn’t look like. Most prefer to model ‘what it doesn’t look like’ with lots of laughter.
As I sat quietly watching the students read their ‘good fit’ books I was pleasantly surprised at the change in behavior with some of the students. All of the students were engaged in their books, the standard of books had increased from mostly picture books to chapter books and novels. One student I noticed struggled to sustain her stamina with the book she choose, I quietly pointed this out to her teacher and she quietly told me it was the book she had chosen. We gathered together to talk about our books and assess our ability to manage our stamina. I am fairly certain the student who struggled will need more support.