National Writing Project

Connected Educator Month

Date: July 15, 2012

Summary: The National Writing Project is a partner in August's Connected Educator Month, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, focused on connecting educators with online communities and learning networks.


During Connected Educator Month , teachers will have the opportunity to participate in events and activities at dozens of online locations designed to help them develop skills related to personal learning networks. The month kicks off with a two-day conference on "transforming teaching and learning" followed by a month-long set of activities and events organized around the following key topics:

  • Professional Learning in the Learning Profession—21st century professional development, discussed in light of online communities and networks as well as key new developments in education such as the Common Core State Standards and flipped classrooms .
  • It's Personal—Personalized learning for students and educators, now and in the future.
  • Beyond Top-Down—How distributed leadership and grassroots networks can shape the future of education, and how educators can use online communities and networks to effect change.
  • Knocking on the Door—What technological trends inside and outside education (e.g. mobile? gaming?) are likely to have the biggest impact on education and what should educators be doing to take advantage today?
  • The First Six Weeks—What are the key "to-dos" to get 2012–2013 off to a great start in the classroom, and how can online communities and networks help?

The following are events hosted by NWP throughout the month of August.

Connected Educator Month Kicks Off NWP-Style at Teachers Teaching Teachers
Teachers Teaching Teachers (TTT) , a weekly web radio program of the New York City Writing Project hosted by educator and writing project technology liaison Paul Allison , will kick off Connected Educator Month (CEM) NWP-style. This special show will focus on online communities of practice and include guests such as Darren Cambridge , director of the Connected Educators project; Kevin Hodgson of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project; Steve Moore of the Greater Kansas City Writing Project; Pamela Moran , Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools and a teacher-consultant at the Central Virginia Writing Project; and Karen Fasimpaur , founder and organizer of P2PU's School of Ed .
When: August 1, 6 p.m. PDT/9 p.m. EDT

Communities of Practice for Professional Learning: Connected Learning for Adults
Can the concept of communities of practice help frame connected learning in the workplace and beyond? Elyse Eidman-Aadahl , NWP's director of National Programs and Site Development, will lead this MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning webinar with guests Lacy Manship , associate director of the UNC Charlotte Writing Project; Kim Jaxon , assistant professor at the University of California Chico and co-director of the Northern California Writing Project; and Tene Gray , director of the Digital Youth Network .
When: August 14, 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT
Where: Connected Learning TV

#engchat on Twitter
Meenoo Rami and Samuel Reed of the Philadelphia Writing Project will host a special #engchat —a conversation via Twitter—which will focus on networked professional learning.
When: August 27, 4 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. EDT
Where: On Twitter (just search for and/or use the hashtag #engchat)

Teacher Research is Connective Learning: Practitioner Inquiry as Professional Development
How do we ensure schools are places of learning for both the students and staff? What does classroom inquiry look like when the teacher is the inquirer? Bud Hunt (a.k.a. Bud the Teacher) and Cindy O'Donnell-Allen of the Colorado State University Writing Project will lead this MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning webinar.
When: August 28, 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT
Where: Connected Learning TV

Build a "Digital Is" Resource for the World!
Are you up for a challenge? During the month of August, NWP will test a new Digital Is "challenge" at Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) School of Ed. This is your opportunity to develop a resource at Digital Is that makes visible an example of practice and key questions related to teaching, learning, and writing. At the end of the challenge, not only will you have a completed resource, you'll also receive a badge from your peers for your work!
When: The entire month of August (and beyond)
Where: P2PU School of Ed

The House is Open at NWP Digital Is!
NWP's Digital Is website will host open houses and guided tours during the month of August as part of Connected Educator Month. Visit the site to see what is collected there already and find out how to add your own content and participate in conversations. NWP Digital Is staff will be available to chat during the following dates and times:

  • August 8, 11:00 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT
  • August 15, 11:00 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT
  • August 22, 11:00 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT
  • August 29, 11:00 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT
Where: National Writing Project Digital Is Open House

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