Jul. 15, 2010

Teacher as Connector

Over the past two days I’ve had many discussions with educators about the idea of “Teacher as Connector“.

It’s not a new idea but I do think it is an important part of being a teacher in today’s digital world.

How do you help your students connect to others?

As a teacher, do you have a network that you can use to help your students connect to content, ideas, people, and places when they need it? Whether it’s talking about mountains and Skyping someone in Colorado, or studying Eastern Religions and connecting to a school in China or Thailand?

In today’s digitally connected world, the connections you can make for your students are as important as the tasks you give them in the classroom.

Take the example of Haley, a 5th grade student at my school in Bangkok. She wrote a blog post about a science experiment she did in class. Her teacher and I decided it was a blog post worthy of an audience. Using our connections via Twitter and Facebook we were able to give her an audience of teachers and students around the world. Not only that, Allanah, a teacher in New Zealand, took Haley’s blog post and directions and did the same experiment with students at her school. Because Allanah was a connected teacher, she was able to create a learning opportunity for her students as well.

Being a connected teacher can be accomplished in many ways. Twitter and Facebook are just two ways to be connected. You can also join any number of educational Ning’s that are out there. The more ways you have to connect, the greater the opportunity for you as a teacher to be a connector for your students.

As we head into the last day of the BLC10 conference and as a new school year fast approaches, think about ways that you can be a connector for your kids. No matter what your role is in your school, being a connector will benefit your students in some shape or form. Not to mention your own learning that will happen along the way.

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