U.S. Department of Education Kicks Off Connected Educator Month
Posted on 08/01/2012
Because no educator should be an island, the U.S. Department of Education has declared August Connected Educator Month (www). Throughout August, more than 100 of the nation's leading education organizations, communities, and companies will come together online to celebrate and explore the power of professional online communities and networks to meet the needs of education professionals — novices and leaders alike.
Connected Educator Month events began on August 1, with three days of the foremost innovators in education leading a series of online keynotes and panels, engaging participants in ongoing dialogue and learning.
In collaboration with a wide range of educational organizations and educators, and in the spirit of online communities, Connected Educator Month will continue with a variety of courses, webinars, guided tours, live chats, forums, workshops, interviews, book clubs, contests, badges, and more. The goal is to broaden and deepen educator participation in online communities and create opportunities for education professionals to work together to move the field forward. It is also to learn more about supporting educators with online environments.
"Improvement requires connection," said Karen Cator, director of the Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology (OET). "As we ramp up for the 2012-2013 school year, teachers and leaders along with education organizations and online communities have the opportunity to work toward a more connected and collaborative profession."
Online communities and learning networks already help hundreds of thousands of educators by providing "just in time" access to knowledge and opportunities for collaboration, and by reducing isolation. Expanding participation will allow more people to realize the full benefits of this arena for professional learning and collaboration.
All events and activities can be found on the Connected Educator Month Calendar at http://connectededucatormonth.org (www), with additional learning opportunities added throughout August.
Connected Educator Month is part of the Office of Educational Technology's Connected Educators (www) initiative, which is supporting online, social and professional learning for educators by conducting research, hosting communities, and working with the field.
The Connected Educators initiative is being coordinated for the Department of Education by the American Institutes for Research (www) with key support from its partners, including the Consortium for School Networking, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, Forum One Communications, Grunwald Associates LCC, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association, in collaboration with a wide range of educational organizations and grassroots networks. A complete list of participating organizations can be found at: http://connectededucators.org/cem/participating-organizations/ (www).