Defining the connected educator

Have you moved beyond cooperation? What role is collaboration playing in your professional learning and practice? What’s new and different about collaboration for 21st century learning? (Nussbaum-Beach, 2012, p. 13)

I have always been a strong supporter of collaboration at work. In my various library teams over the years I have supported and promoted each individual in using their strengths and passions so that together what we provide is greater than the sum of its parts. While no one is irreplaceable the tone and character of what we provide has shifted as individuals come and go, and along the way I have learned and grown through these experiences. I have never thought that pigeon-holing individuals into specific, discrete duties, based on job-title, to be in the best interest of the organisation.

As a learner, and particularly in this course, collaboration plays an enormous part in my construction of knowledge. The subject forums are the prime place where this occurs but our blogs, twitter, formal and informal online meetings, and even the occasional real-life catch-up all contribute. In INF536 the obligation to not only write a series of blog posts but to also comment on the posts of three others each time challenged us to be collaborative and was a great learning experience. In contrast, INF506 did not even require us to make our blogs public which I felt was a crazy contradiction in a subject called “Social Networking for Information Professionals”. As Nussbaum-Beach says “sharing and reciprocity are expected” (p. 13), they should not be optional.

Are you multi-literate? Of these literacies, which is most surprising to you? Which do you find least and most challenging? (Nussbaum-Beach, 2012, p. 17)

This section is a self-evaluation rubric for new literacies of the 21st century:

  1. Facilitate and inspire learning and creativity
  2. Design and develop digital-age learning experiences and assessments
  3. Model digital-age work and learning
  4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
  5. Engage in professional growth and leadership

I believe I am multi-literate and scored myself 3 or 4 for most items. None of these is surprising, I nodded along in agreement as I read each section. All of these are challenging to do well but I probably find modelling digital-age work and learning the easiest because it simply is how I work and learn. Successfully inspiring others to join the digital-age is a big challenge –  it is one thing to work in this way yourself, quite another to lead, promote and inspire.

We’ve described how we think about the connected educator. Take a moment to reflect on your understanding. How are our perspectives alike? How are they different? (p. 21)

One thing I think is fundamental to being a connected educator is having a growth mindset. If we could shift those fixed mindsets that prevent some (many?) teachers from trying new ideas we’d go a long way toward making connected educators the norm.

Map yourself

I found a few people I know (both online and in real life) on the map. Zoom into Melbourne and you’ll see me there, there’s only three others at this stage.

Tag it

Diigo is an old friend but searching the tag clc-voc revealed no results. Am I doing something wrong?


Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. R. (2012). Defining the connected educator. In The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age (pp. 3-24). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

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