Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.
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October is Connected Educator month and in my new position as Coordinator of Instructional Technology I have been thinking a lot about how to encourage, inspire and empower teachers to embrace a growth mindset when it comes to integrating technology but also when it comes to teaching and learning in today's world in general. The world is so very different today for my six-year-old than it was when I was six and teaching and learning is evolving as well.
I strongly believe that teachers need to adopt a growth mindset when it comes to developing professionally. They need to continually look closely and honestly at their practice in order to see how to make adjustments and to strive to be better in the future. One of my favorite ideas that we have been talking about lately in my department is thinking about past practice versus best practice.
Over the weekend, I attended my 4th unconference experience. I've now been to two Edcamp Chicagos, one PLAYDATE (in Chicago), and nErDcamp Battle Creek...and all just in 2013! Every experience has been completely amazing and energizing. I've been excited to go every time. I've had wonderful conversations and have made new connections with colleagues near and far while at the same strengthening connections I already did have. I've left every time full of energy and brimming with new ideas, conversations to continue, and a longing to do it all over again.
Edcamps are like the Disney World of professional development for teachers. They are magical. They really are. I know not everyone is as in love with Disney World as I am, but I love me my Disney World. And I love me my Edcamps.
Edcamps are an amazing way to connect with others in real life but since many people are on Twitter, the conversations can extend further than that day. Twitter is an awesome way to stay connected. As I visit schools in my district and talk to teachers, lots of teachers are also talking about Pinterest as a great way to get ideas.
What are your favorite ways for staying connected? Do you have any apps or websites/tools that help you keep all of your digital learning organizes? I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient or organized, so please share!
I'd also love to hear about your Edcamp or unconference experience. Did you love it? Would you go again? Are you intrigued? And if you have an Edcamp in your near future, have you thought about convincing a friend or two or three to go with you? Edcamps are so wonderful and I think if every Edcamp believer could bring along a friend or five (why not five?) that we could turn lots of educators on to just how brilliant professional development can be when done Edcamp-fabulous.