Exploring the Concept of a Connected Educator

This blog post will explore prompts from Nussbaum-Beach and Hall’s (2012) chapter ‘Defining the Connected Educator’

Have you moved beyond cooperation? What role is collaboration playing in your professional learning and practice? What’s new about collaboration for 21st Cent learners.

Nussbaum-Beach and Hall’s (2012) chapter ‘Defining the Connected Educator’ defines some of the characteristics of a connected educator. Of them, the pair highlight collaboration as a skill required by connected educations and argue that it goes beyond simple cooperation in that the contributions of individual members are valued more as they are irreplaceable on account of a unique skillset, knowledge or ability (p.12).  


Looking critically at the role of classroom teacher, it’s difficult to say how much of a shift towards Nussbaum-Beach and Hall’s version of collaboration has been made. Schools that value cross-curricular opportunities for their students would require this collaboration amongst staff whereas those that only utilise curriculum planning within domains would rely on cooperation.


In terms of my own professional practice, I feel that my professional learning network and further university study has strengthened the teams that I operate within. By developing a unique skillset within knowledge networking and digital innovation field, I feel that my contributions are harder to replace in my current work environment. This leads me to believe that much of how I interact within teams is collaborative.


As for twenty-first century learners, collaboration has been amplified on account of technology. It’s “transformed how people find each other, interact, and collaborate to create knowledge” (ibid, p. 13). Social media platforms and abundant web-based resources exemplify this.


Are you multiliterate? Of these literacies, which is the most surprising to you? Which do you find the least most challenging?

After taking the self-evaluation rubric for new literacies of the 21st Century, I’m happy to report that I’m officially multiliterate. My strongest section was ‘model digital age work and learning.’ I feel as though I can effectively contribute, collaborate and communicate in digital forms. I use every opportunity to explore and utilise digital tools that enhance student achievement.

At times it is difficult to utilise and implement the data collected to inform learning and teaching that further enables personalisation. Teaching is a profession that is generally time poor. Greater time release/allowance would enable more effective targeting of this outcome.   



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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