Through modern technology we live in an information rich and connected world, where we have constant and immediate access to information sources, people and their knowledge. Teaching and learning happen in this connected world and should be augmented by this connected information environment.
- She actively manages and directs her personalised learning journey, reflectively planning formal and informal learning experiences to advance her professional and personal interests.
- She leverages the affordances of technology to manage the flow of interactions with people and information sources through careful curation.
- She utilises the personal, social and participatory nature of new media formats and tools) to connect and with learning communities, to learn from and with (Lindsay, 2016, p.11). Lucier views this as a continuum of Seven degrees of connectedness on which a learner progresses as a personal learning network (PLN) is actively cultivated and nurtured. Rheingold and Weeks (2012, p.120) similarly refer to Mayfield’s 11 steps of the Power Law of Participation.
- She deliberately manages and develops her online presence, identity and footprint.
The connected educator understands that education is about learning – not teaching, and that while learning can be linear and solitary, it is also social and collaborative – especially in the connected world. She models and practices connected, lifelong learning. The connected educator crafts authentic learning experiences by utilising her network to open the walls of her classroom, by sharing relevant learning resources, and by facilitating connection-making (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011, p.61-62). By demonstrating the importance of being a connected learner she encourages her students to develop their own PLNs. She encourages connected learning to happen inside and outside the classroom, through participation and interactions: by facilitating user-generated content, peer-critique, collective aggregation and community formation by her students (Conole, 2010, pp. 50-51.)
She understands that good digital citizenship requires responsible, active participation (Ohler, 2010, p.34). She assists students in developing the literacies and competencies they need for full participation in these new environments.
This educator is developing as a connected learner and hopefully as a connected educator. There are tentative attempts at cooperation, which will hopefully lead to bold collaboration. I have moved beyond lurking and have started to actively engage and contribute, but more importantly: I have become convinced that by participating, I will develop further on the path to being an exemplary connected educator from and with whom my colleagues and students will learn.
Conole, G. (2013). Designing for learning in an open world. New York, NY: Springer New York.
Lindsay, J. (2016). The global educator: Leveraging technology for collaborative learning & teaching. International Society of Technology in Education.
Lucier, R. (2012, June 5). Seven degrees of connectedness [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thecleversheep.blogspot.ch/2012/06/seven-degrees-of-connectedness.html
Mayfield, R. (2006, April 27). Power law of participation [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://ross.typepad.com/blog/2006/04/power_law_of_pa.html
Nussbaum-Beach, S. (2012, January 13). Why be a connected educator? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0kZU8hTWIE
Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. R. (2012). The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Ohler, J. B. (2010). Digital community, digital citizen. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press.
Rheingold, H., & Weeks, A. (2014). Net smart: How to thrive online. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2011). Personal learning networks: Using the power of connections to transform education. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Tolisano, S. (2012, June 7). Seven degrees of connectedness (The infographic) [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://langwitches.org/blog/2012/06/07/seven-degrees-of-connectedness/