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.
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.
3. HOW DO I START? What Do I Do First?
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 gmail.com 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): http://langwitches.org/blog/2013/10/09/connected-educators-leaders-and-schools/
- 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.
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!