Monday, February 4, 2013

Staying Connected...Why Should I?

Do you remember a time that you would walk into a room and people would look at you?  Now when you walk into a room, they are staring at their phones!  Why?  Because they want to be connected to the latest and greatest news in their professional, personal, or global lives.  It may seem that we are always finding out what someone else thinks or wants to share, but how about spending that time in areas that we want to develop.

As an educator, you need to stay connected to what is happening in the world of education and not get stuck in the same daily activities.  We need to make sure we are engaged ourselves to want to help students want to be a part of the learning environment you are providing for them.  A few years ago I was new to build professional learning networks, but thanks to PA Virtual Charter School for sending me to a conference in which I met Vicki Davis.  After seeing and learning about what she was doing with the Flat Classroom Project, I quickly wanted to be a part of it.  I am now certified as a Flat Classroom Teacher and know the connections I have made in this community will always benefit my learning.

I am still not an expert, but I have developed a system of networks that have worked for me in finding new information and resources.  I have also become part of different groups that continue to challenge my thinking by giving me resources that make me think creatively on their use.

Such places such as Edmodo, Twitter, and Flickr have other professionals in my field that are sharing and collaborating.  I feel that if we continue to stay connected, the collaboration will continue and grow even bigger then our own schools and classrooms.

How have Professional Learning Networks helped you develop your skills as an educator?  Are you engaging your students to be digital citizens?  Join the conversation!!