Educators, ask yourself. Are you connected? That means using technology to forge relationships with educators you wouldn't meet at your own school. Strictly speaking I suppose that may not be the official definition, but for me it is the most relevant.
I spent 33 years at an isolated country school. Professional development meant two hour trips to bigger centres where I would meet others for the day, and then we would go our separate ways, maybe meet up at a follow up workshop, but just as likely to never see and share resources and experiences again.
I must admit that I liked to get out of my own school and get copies of what the other teachers were working with, and share my own work. I once found my own work turning up in a booklet made by others in my subject area, so nebulous were the connections.
As email and technologies developed, the connections became a little more long lasting. But things have changed now. We have opportunities to connect with others whom we may never meet, and if and when we do meet, it is sometimes as old friends. Virtual friends that is.
I have made friends with educators across the globe. People who are willing to share time and effort to help, discuss and investigate. I belong to overseas communities, one of which is the Flipped Learning community based in USA. When I joined that community, I was the first in New Zealand to do so. There were about 500 members across the USA. Nowadays it is more like 20,000 members across the world.
How awesome to be able to lurk in the community, join in virtual events, and discuss with members across the world!
One of the other overseas communities that I belong to, has webinars regularly. Usually they are not in my waking hours, sometimes 2 or 3 am in the morning. Through technology, they are available to me as soon as I get time to watch them.
The virtual world has allowed me to travel down a pathway that was unimaginable years ago. I am happy with and cherish my connectedness. So as I write in the middle of the North Island, New Zealand from Taupo, I wonder how far afield my readers are tonight. My request to you is that you write in the comments below how far away you are from me.
This will be a celebration for me during Connected Educator Month. Please join me in celebrating my lifelong learning journey.