Thursday, March 24, 2016

Preparing Future Teachers to be Connected Educators

Friends,
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I have a challenge and I am turning to my PLN to try to address it.

As you know, I teach Instructional Technology at the University of Northern Iowa.  We teach both undergraduate (future teachers) and graduate (present teachers) about how to use technology to support learning.  It is much more than technology.  It is about building a mindset to use teaching/learning strategies that optimize the opportunities available through technology.

We need to develop Connected Educators.  Our undergraduates are connected through social media, but they don't see how this can be used for a professional purpose.  They are unaccustomed to connecting with people around the world to learn from other practitioners.

Our challenge: We are trying to trying to develop learning activities where they will actually engage with other educators through social media. It has to be something more than connecting with other students in the class because they see them face-to-face a couple of times per week. It needs to be more than following hashtags.  Experiencing a globally collaborative project is good, but I am looking at changing a mindset. It needs to be something where they are experiencing this type of connection in such a way that it carries on into their professional lives.

This is where I am calling upon the greater knowledge base of the many. YOU.

What do you do with your students and teachers?  How do you, as a connected educator, connect with other professionals as part of your daily routine.  What are some suggestions that you might have for activities/experiences that we might use with our future and present teachers to foster them toward being Connected Educators?

Thank you for your response.

Leigh Zeitz

Please forward this to your colleagues or others you believe would have an idea about this.

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