1. Christina Luce

    You describe exactly what my friend felt during that discussion, and you also hit on many of things we discussed on the ride home. It is a great reminder about being thoughtful about the language we use, and I think highlighting the need to be inclusive vs exclusive, if that makes sense.

  2. Anne Reardon

    I so admire your constant focus on people. As you mentioned in your keynote yesterday (which was amazing, by the way) it’s all about relationships. I will continue to encourage the teachers I work with to make connections (whether online or in real life) to push their own learning and thinking; but I will be more conscious of the words I use and how I say them. It’s not about how many followers you have or how many people you follow. It’s about the relationships you form and the learning and sharing that happens because of those relationships. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Shannon Furst

    I agree that the person should come first. We are not defined by one aspect of our professional activities. Educators connect in the real world as well as on the internet.

    We should not “push” educators to connect online, but we should be
    giving educators resources and opportunities as it is an exciting way to connect and learn!

    Sadly, It sounds like equity is the issue here. At this time, many educators are excluded by default due to low salaries and a lack of resources on the job.

  4. Catina Haugen

    I have had similar hesitations around connected educator month. Three half-done blog posts really illustrate my torn point of view. All three posts began to sound judgmental about those who don’t connect. Not my intention at all. So now I wonder what kind of message I’m sending when talking social media with teachers. Thanks for helping me realize my dilemma.

    Bottom line: We all connect in different ways. I can encourage, coach and bring an understanding about the ways I chose to connect, and I always jphave much to learn from others’.

  5. Alyse Day Fritz

    I think the key point you draw is that “isolation is a choice.” Owning our choices while respecting others’ deserves effort. That being said, those with passions & strengths (whether for technology, data, or relationships) have a duty to share that knowledge with others moving our practice as a whole forward.

    Thanks for the perspective!

  6. Kyle Timms

    Those who connect through Twitter or Pinterest or Google+ (which i don’t get either) are no better than the people who connect in the hallways, classrooms and staff rooms. It’s those who close their doors completely that we need to help.

    Another thought… it’s great to connect ABOUT teaching, but we need structures that allow teachers to actually WORK and LEARN together in classrooms with kids. The job is still placing most teachers in isolation for most of their work day.

  7. Bill Moody

    There’s also still a lot of prejudice about social media; people think we only post bagels and banter. Sometimes the ‘them and us’ comes from those who refuse to take part. I’m always quietly amazed that teachers can be so anti communicating.

  8. Joey Paul Agabiti

    I have connected face to face for years through, articulation and workshops. But I needed the push to use social media. Now that I am on social media, I find that I am exposed to more points of view that allow me to REFLECT on my own practices.

    The real reason I use social media is to improve myself through REFLECTION, and this article has provided me yet another opportunity to do that. Thank you for the point of view.

  9. Ted Graham

    George you make some interesting points, especially about how the language we use matters. However, I would argue that the young educator who you sat with was in fact connected, even I she has not yet developed her social media PLN. She was there learning and sharing, that is part of how she will make a difference.
    I don’t believe it is educators like her that we have to convince to connect. I believe the problem is that in many of our schools we still have educators who live in their own world with myopic vision, and do not continue to learn and grow. This is what all educators should do, they need to “connect,” even if they just means checking out the classroom next door.
    As you you said on Saturday morning, isolation is now a choice educators make, and I don’t think it is a choice our students can afford.

    Also I want to say it was great to get a chance to chat with you at #edscape, even if it was for only 30 seconds (I was the science teacher in the hallway).

  10. Chris Wejr

    Damn you Couros – just when I thought I had a great post in my head, I read yours and you say it better. I had the opportunity to present in Indiana last June and my keynote was title “Windows of Change: How Connected Educators are Driving REAL Reform”… and during the session, I tried to make it very clear about the importance of “connecting” and how this did not JUST mean online. I think when we state how everyone needs to be on Twitter, we actually alienate those who are not and often create a wedge in our staff/community. I have made the mistake of thinking that because I am connected online, I am more in the know… I have learned better now as I look at some teachers on my staff and how wonderfully connected they are with each other and with their students and families.

    Do we need to connect? Absolutely – but this is defined by each person. The key is that we need to share ideas and learn from others – how this looks and works will depend on individual/community strengths, structures and context. A connected educator can mean so much but it is more important about what happens with these connections and how it benefits the learning (professional and student).

    For me, trying to connect first and foremost with those in front of me while also connecting with people online is my goal. This is a balance that many of us continually strive for.

  11. Tracy Mulligan

    …So, when we say “connected educator,” I wonder why we don’t just say “educator?”

    That’s what I think every time I hear the phrase “21st Century Learning”. But how else do we communicate that without being explicit?

  12. Greg

    My first post about connected educator month dealt with my hesitation. It does create a sense of elitism and echochamber. I think I have to agree with Scott McLeod that the first place to connect is the local level. For me I take it a step further and say connect with learners first. Instead of a connected educator I’d rather have my kids in classrooms where the teachers believe in connected learning.

  13. Barry Dyck

    I agree that we want teachers to connect. The “connected educator” can be elitist and alienating, but I like to think that part of the connotation of the term is that educators are embracing/connecting different ways to approach learning. And when I say learning, I don’t mean ways to get THE curriculum into kids. Digital media creates new possibilities. I agree that we should approach each other from positions of strength and not deficit.

Comments are closed.