Connected Educator Month Celebrates Peer Professional Development
7.31.12 | Connected Educator Month kicks off this week with a slew of activities designed to get educators connecting with colleagues online. The celebration, scheduled for all of August, is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Connected Educators initiative that recognizes the power of online communities and networks for educators to collaborate, learn from each other, and access needed resources.
The goal of the events, according to Classroom 2.0’s Steve Hargadon, is to widen the audience of educators and administrators who recognize the benefits of peer professional development.
Connected Educator Month (CEM) will include online forums, webinars, guided tours, open houses, book clubs and more. A complete schedule is available at the Connected Educator Month website, and Hargadon has put together this great roundup of the first week of events.
More than 60 educational organizations have signed on as partners, including the National Writing Project (NWP), the American Association of School Librarians and the Consortium for School Networking.
You can catch keynotes this week from Douglas Rushkoff, Larry Johnson, Chris Lehmann, Deborah Meier, and Connie Yowell, and participate in panel discussions on personalized learning or distributed leadership and teacher-led change. Many events are being held online via Blackboard Collaborate, but CEM is also coordinating events at dozens of other online locations.
The NWP’s Teachers Teaching Teachers web radio program, for example, led by the New York City Writing Project, will host a special show on Aug. 1 (9 p.m. EST) focusing on online communities of practice.
And over at Connectedlearning.tv, NWP Director of National Programs and Site Development Elyse Eidman-Aadahl will host a discussion on Aug. 14 (1 p.m. EST) about connected learning for adults, diving into whether the concept of communities of practice can help frame connected learning in the workplace and beyond.
If you’re new to all this, organizers have prepared a series of Connected Educators Month Starter Kits designed for people who’ve never been part of an online professional community or who are already part of one but want to engage more deeply. A starter kit for adminsitrators is also available. More information is available here.
The month will conclude with the Learning 2.0 Conference, a virtual event scheduled for Aug. 20 – 24 billed as a “global conversation on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet,” with conference strands on changes in the classroom, student learning, teacher personal and professional growth, schools, and pedagogy.
We’ll continue to cover new events throughout the month on Spotlight. Stay tuned.
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