National Writing Project

Connected Educator Month

Date: September 15, 2013

Summary: A partner in the National Writing Project's Educator Innovator Initiative, Connected Educator Month takes place in October. Convened by the U.S. Department of Education, this month-long collaboration of dozens of organizations focuses hundreds of online events on connecting educators with online communities and learning networks.


The U.S. Department of Education has declared October as this year's Connected Educator Month (CEM) , a month-long exploration of key educational issues through online communities and networks, dedicated to broadening and deepening educator participation, as well as bringing online community and education leaders together to move towards a more fully connected and collaborative profession. Last year's inaugural CEM featured more than 170 organizations (including NWP) mounting more than 450 events and activities for more than 4 million participants worldwide.

NWP will be participating again in CEM and will be hosting events as part of the ongoing Educator Innovator Initiative , of which Connected Educator Month is a partner.

This year's themes for collectively building activities and learning will include:

  • Making It Count: Integrating Social Learning Into Formal PD
  • Connected Leadership
  • Personalized Learning
  • Innovating STEM and Literacy
  • From Connection to Collaboration
  • 21st Century Classroom Management

Interested participants can sign up to receive updates about:

  • Highly interactive webinars and other real-time events—many headlined by education, technology, and community leaders—that you can register to attend.
  • Ongoing discussions—through multiple series of participatory activities—designed to generate practical takeaways and collective learnings to move the field forward on key education issues such as common core, personalized learning, STEM education, literacy, and 21st century classroom management.
  • Showcases, open houses, guided tours, launches, exhibits, collaborative projects, hands-on demonstrations, and other special activities open to participation.
  • Contests you can enter, badges you can earn, plus other resources ranging from starter kits, maps, and matchmakers to book clubs and courses to help you join the world of connected education.

Being a connected educator doesn't begin or end in October which is why CEM is part of the larger, NWP-powered Educator Innovator Initiative. Make sure you subscribe to receive the newsletter and blog post updates from the Educator Innovator homepage .

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

Learning Aloud Geekouts!—Kick-Off "unHangout"

Hive Learning Networks in collaboration with HOMAGO Geekouts and the National Writing Project will facilitate a series called Learning Aloud Geekouts! Offered as part of Connected Educator Month, this series will kick off with a special September 30 "unHangout" event where educators in the maker movement will facilitate large and small group introductions to a range of favorite making topics, including Arduino , Scratch , Wearable Tech, 3D Printing, Minecraft , and more. For more information, visit the series page on Educator Innovator.
When: September 30, 1:30 p.m. PDT/4:30 p.m. EDT
Where: unHangout

Special-Focus Connected Educator Month Series at Teachers Teaching Teachers

Teachers Teaching Teachers (TTT) is exactly what it claims to be—an opportunity for educators to touch base as peers and colleagues about connected learning and daily practice. Held every Wednesday, New York City high school teacher Paul Allison invites open dialogue and conversations, "water cooler style," among a range of teachers and learners from K through University educators, to developers, artists, mentors, coaches, designers, makers, dreamers, and students. A special-focus webinar will kick off Connected Educator Month on October 2, and set the stage for a month-long set of conversations about connecting as learners and peers throughout the year and in a digital age. TTT is streamed live via Google Hangout at EdTechTalk and includes a chat to increase the number who are able to participate.
When: October 2, 6 p.m. PDT/9 p.m. EDT
Where: TTT at EdTechTalk

#write2connect: The 2013 National Day on Writing on NWP Radio

How does writing today facilitate connections among ideas? People? Disciplines? The response to these questions is the focus of this year's National Day on Writing, celebrated on October 21 with a conversation on Twitter utilizing the hashtag #write2connect. Join Katherine Schulten of the New York Times Learning Network , Millie Davis of the National Council of Teachers of English , and leaders from local Writing Project sites as they discuss the genesis of #write2connect, how the writing-to-connect idea will play out on the national stage via Twitter, and what it will look like in local venues. Tune in to learn how you and your site can participate!
When: October 10, 4 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. EDT
Where: NWP Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Educator Innovator Hosts "Learning to #teachtheweb" Webinar

Join Laura Hilliger and Chris Lawrence of the Mozilla Foundation in exploring Webmaker tools for digital authorship and remix. Learn how to use tools like Thimble , Popcorn , and Web X-Ray Goggles to create open and shareable "teaching kits" that combine effective writing pedagogies with deeply engaging free and open digital production on the Web. Learn how you can become part of the supremely supportive #teachtheweb community.
When: October 15, 9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT
Where: Webinars at Educator Innovator

#literacies Twitter Chat

#literacies is a bi-weekly Twitter chat, held on the first and third Thursday of the month from 8:00–9:00 p.m. ET, in which educators discuss the demands and dimensions of contemporary literacies. This special #literacies chat will be hosted by Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) . Grant will explore the ways in which his organization has made novel writing more of a social, connected act, rather than a solitary one. What does writing-to-connect mean to you? You can get involved by searching #literacies on Twitter during the chat time, or by using a hashtag service, such as Tweetchat. Be sure to also share how you use writing to make connections on October 21 during the day-long National Day on Writing (NDOW) Tweetup, using the hashtag #write2connect.
When: October 17, 5 p.m. PDT/8 p.m. EDT
Where: On Twitter (search for and/or use hashtag #literacies)

National Day on Writing Tweetup

Join a Tweetup and tell the world how and why you #write2connect, and what that means to you. On October 21, as part of the National Day on Writing celebration, the National Writing Project and its Educator Innovator initiative —along with the National Council of Teachers of English , the New York Times Learning Network , and a host of other organizations—are encouraging us to tweet to the #write2connect hashtag.
When: October 21
Where: On Twitter (search for and/or use hashtag #write2connect)

#engchat: National Day on Writing

How does writing today facilitate connections among ideas? People? Disciplines? We'll consider these questions and many others as part of a special #engchat focused on the October 21 National Day on Writing Twitter campaign: #write2connect. Hosted by High Technology High School (NJ) teacher Sarah Gross, this #engchat is sponsored by the National Writing Project, the New York Times Learning Network , and the National Council of Teachers of English For more information about #engchat, visit the #engchat site .
When: October 21, 4 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. EDT
Where: On Twitter (search for and/or use hashtag #engchat)

Digital Citizenship Week with Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media , in conjunction with Connected Educator Month, is leading the Digital Citizenship Week initiative. The purpose of the week is to build awareness of digital citizenship as a set of defined, teachable skills, and to engage parents, educators, students, and lawmakers across the country as key stakeholders in making sure kids navigate the online world safely and responsibly. As part of Digital Citizenship Week, Common Sense will create a comprehensive online toolkit, which will provide educators with valuable resources, including lesson plans differentiated by grade, school-based activities, and materials to engage and educate parents and caregivers.
When: October 21—October 25
Where: Common Sense Media

Educator Innovator Presents Edcamp Online

As educators across the nation team up via social media to improve learning for kids, the Edcamp Foundation has teamed up with MIT Media Lab and the National Writing Project's Educator Innovator initiative to help educators debrief and reflect on their learning by offering a virtual Edcamp experience via an "unhangouts" platform. "Unhangouts" leverage Google Hangouts but add special functionality so that we can truly simulate the Edcamp experience in an online space. Come join us in this endeavor and, in true Edcamp style, add your important thinking into the mix!
When: October 26, 9:30 a.m. PDT/12:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Edcamp Online

Learning Aloud Geekout Series

Teen-led geekouts are designed to support youth in sharing something they have made with other youth and educators, lead a short "making" opportunity for participants, and getting feedback on their work. These sessions will offer educators an opportunity to explore the potential for learning by making, and will empower youth to share their creative process and product, all while supporting connections between youth and educators across formal and informal learning spaces. Learning Aloud Geekouts will be interactive conversations broadcast live from HOMAGO Geekouts on YouTube and will support audience participation via chat and Twitter. For more information, visit the series page.

The Possibilities of Mobile—A Webinar Series with Connected Learning TV

In what ways will mobile act as an on-ramp to diverse learning experiences? What is place-based learning and what does it look like in practice—now and in the future? How will a mobile device connect locations, experiences, and communities? This month of discussions on Connected Learning TV explores how mobile opens up both formal and informal learning opportunities—classrooms, libraries, museums, parks, cities, towns—through games, STEM inquiry, and citizen science and civics initiatives. We will balance visionary thinking and pragmatic experience to understand how mobile devices might reacquaint us with inquiry and learning in a connected world. For more information, visit the series page at

Build a "Digital Is" Resource for the World!

If digital is how we write, share, collaborate, publish, and participate today and into the future, what does that mean for the teaching of writing and connected learning? The NWP Digital Is website is an always-open forum for exploring those questions and we invite you to participate. Browse the site, share what you find, join to add comments, and/or post a blog! You can also request to become a resource creator—this will allow you to draft, get feedback on, and publish new, open educational resources for the larger community. Join us!
When: Entire month of October (and beyond)
Where: Digital Is

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