Focus on Beginners: What do you Need to Start Connecting?

As we have travelled throughout the province this week, we have heard loud and clear that we need an easier entry point for our education leaders to start the connecting process.

Last Tuesday, connected leaders met to discuss how they became connected leaders – the catalyst that got them started.  Here are some of the things we learned.  Which of these do you need?  Which of these can you bring to a leader you know to help them connect?

1. TIME!  When can we possibly find the time to connect?

Educators are busy.  Nobody disputes that!  But could connecting actually make your life easier?  YES IT CAN!  You can pose a question on Twitter 24/7 and get an answer in minutes.  We have heard many stories with this theme.

Learn to make time.  Start with 15 minutes each day.  Some of us do “Tea and Twitter”,  some of us start our day with a cup of coffee and Twitter.  Others put the children to bed and then have some quiet professional learning time on a social network.

A commitment of 15 minutes each day seems reasonable if we know there will be a reward for investing that time.  As we move forward, connecting as a learner and modelling that learning will become essential.  We would argue that it already is.  It’s not going away!

2.  A REASON TO CONNECT.  Why Bother?

Many of us shared that we started connecting because we were faced with a professional situation where we needed help, and social media offered access to that personal professional learning we needed to be successful.  Some needed help with implementing BYOD.  Others found themselves in roles that were new to them, and they needed to connect to others with a similar role in the province.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 1.23.09 PMClearly an urgent need for information drove many connected learners to the habit of connecting and learning from their peers and experts in the field through social media.

But if our students are to be connected learners, we need connected teachers, and if we need connected teachers, our school and system leaders must model that connected learning.

Fullan: A Rich Seam
Fullan and Langworthy 2014, A Rich Seam, Page 34.

 3. HOW DO I START? What Do I Do First?

It depends.

Once you have set aside your connecting time, plan what you will do with it.  Perhaps lurking is a good start.

  • Read a blog.
  • Get a twitter account.
  • Follow some educators on Twitter (email ossemooc at if you need suggestions).
  • Find a connected educator close to you and ask for help.
  • Make a plan to move forward.
  • Register to attend a conference about connected learning.
  • Go to an EdCamp.
  • Read this site (as an example):
  • Attend OSSEMOOC on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. to find people you can talk to synchronously.
  • Get a Pinterest Account.  Search for education boards to follow.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 1.28.11 PM

Be consistent.  Put in the time.  Get confident and familiar with the medium.  Make it a priority in your professional learning.

Once you decide it is important, and you set aside time to practice, let us know.  We will help.

There are pockets of excellence throughout the province.  Learn from your peers.  Learn from the experts.  Find your own voice.

If you are leading learning, you need to model how learning happens in 2014.  The time to learn is now, and the OSSEMOOC team will support you in your learning.

Get started today!

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 1.48.30 PM
Image Credits:

Time: Caro Wallis via Compfight cc

Chicken: C. J. Vizzone via Compfight cc

Hand: Saad Faruque via Compfight cc

6 thoughts on “Focus on Beginners: What do you Need to Start Connecting?”

  1. Great post!

    Crossing that threshold into becoming a connected learner is such a big step. Today a group of teachers and I were working together and sharing our learning through a TLLP meeting. We all wrote a blog post about something we had done in one of our classes. For many of us it was the first educational blog post we had written and shared. The first time we opened the window into our classroom. It is very empowering (and scary) to share the first time. I think that being part of a supportive group blogging together (our TLLP group in this case) can help when taking the risk to add the sharing component of being a connected learner.

    Thank you for sharing the learning from the OSSEMOOC group meeting this week.


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