October is “Connected Educators Month,” a time when the U.S. Department of Education encourages teachers to go online and share ideas, resources, and solutions about how to use technology. Businesses participate by holding webinars and live events focused on that theme.
The federal government shutdown, however, means that the organizing department is not participating.
Richard Culatta, director of the department’s office of educational technology, touted participation in Connected Educators month when he visited Mooresville, N.C. this summer. But today, his office’s Twitter account explained its silence this way:
Yesterday’s kickoff interview with Arne Duncan was postponed, too, because of the shutdown.
Despite the Congressional impasse that brought about the closure, educators are still connecting via the Connected Educators website, which provides a list of participating organizations that includes Adobe, Blackboard, BrainPOP, Cisco, Edgenuity, Edmodo, Follett, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and Mozilla.
We turn to a “connected educator” for a definition of one. It’s someone “who leverages technology to connect him or herself with other educators and resources. As a result, their ability to teach authentic lessons and knowledge of pedagogy, strategies and innovative techniques are increased as are their students’ opportunites to succeed,” explains Jennie Magiera, the digital-learning coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a network of 29 Chicago Public Schools, and Teaching Toward Tomorrow blogger for Education Week.
If you’re in an ed-tech business, you might want to tap into this resource to see what teachers are sharing about their experiences incorporating technology into their classrooms, and how it is used for professional development.