"Helping Educators Thrive in a Connected World" (Connected Educator Month: Mission & Goals)
Virtual Communities for Connected Educators
Connected Educator Month (CEM) is an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology and led by the American Institute for Research, Powerful Learning Practice, and Grunewald LLC. It seeks to create a network of educators using technology, collaborate on innovation in classrooms, and offer professional development and resources for educational technology. The "celebration" of the technological transformation of teaching and learning is highly user-driven. Different members of the community propose themes, such as "Future Ready" hosted by Cable Impacts Foundation, and "Innovations in Professional Learning" led by ASCD. The month offers full-day schedules of online webinars, hosted by organizations in the edtech sector, in topics ranging from "A Culture of Learning: How to Host a Scratch Educator Meetup #ScratchEdChat" to "The Largest Online Gathering of K-5 Classrooms." Educators can also participate through book clubs, as well as the edConnectr platform for collaboration, earning badges or PD credits along the way.
Resources for Connected Educators
CEM offers a starter kit to help educators engage with its cornucopia of available online events, resources, and connections. Besides books clubs, webinars, and the edConnectr platform, participants can download tools such as the Roadmap for 21st Century Learning, which helps school leaders assess the current state of their learning environment and determine actionable steps. Users can also browse the blog, which covers CEM events, explore interviews in the Connected Educator Profiles, search for organizations in the Community Directory, and read publications from Connected Educator projects and reports.
CEM a highly educator-driven network and depends on user participation and initiative to thrive. In that sense, it attends to the best of teacher identities as intellectual, creative leaders in their field. The collective develops as educators share their resources and experiences by using the CEM hashtag, log into webinars, and find inspiration from like-minded leaders and teachers.https://d2ba1wehz8pq9c.cloudfront.net/NewLearningTimes/screen-shot-2015-10-27-at-112000-am_342d09eb2c284d62ae87f93b6c269ba5.png: via edConnectr