What does it mean to be a Florida connected educator? Today, I was honored to join Tanya Avrith, Lisa Dabbs, and Tammy Neil in in Remind’s first ever #RCEChat Webinar to explore this question and discuss our personal journeys as connected educators. With opportunities for networked collaboration at virtually the fingertips of every educator in the state of Florida, the potential for connection is limitless. For me, being a connected educator is truly about personalizing my network and nurturing the bonds that have been created. My journey to becoming a connected Florida educator has been powerful; the experience transformational; connections developing into friendships and then friendships into bonds to last a lifetime.
Quite literally, with plenty of warm sunshine and lots of beautiful, blue water, the state of Florida is fertile ground for planting the seeds of connection. Supportive networks fervently and selflessly charge themselves with helping new-to-Twitter educators to connect with the acts of sharing and supporting ultimately represent defining features of connected educators. If you are looking for ways to develop connections in Florida, here are some ideas to grow as a connected educator in the sunshine state.
1. Twitter Chats
Twitter instantly appealed to me as a professional because I was able to customize my Professional Learning Network. I sought out educators that brought a sincere, genuine, and positive voice to the conversation of education. More, I was drawn to teachers that offered student-focused solutions to challenges instead of placing focus on problems. With like-minded individuals, I quickly was able to engage in conversations that positively changed me as a teacher and, more as a person. Twitter chats allowed for expanded and focused discussions on topics that were personally significant in my life. If you are a Florida educator new to Twitter, here are three not-to-miss chats:
2. Expand Conversations
Twitter is a wonderful entry point to ignite ideas and spark discussions. There are other amazing tools that allow for conversations to be expanded and further explored. Check out these interactive and innovative connection tools:
3. Connect at Conferences
With a focus on networking, learning, and growing, Florida conferences offer wonderful opportunities to connect personally with educators and innovators. Check out these great Florida conferences and be sure to follow each of them on Twitter:
4. Focus on the Relationships
As we concluded in our discussion and webinar today, it was clear that we all were certain that the key to being a connected educator is to keep focus on developing, supporting, and nurturing connections. Relationships are key, and any thriving PLN is built around people first, not places, programs, or tools. With a focus on relationships, unconferences and informal meetups have become movements of empowering educators to share their choices in professional growth. With Remind #CoffeeEdu connected chats and EdCamps all over the state, Florida educators are changing the model of professional development and encouraging the voice of the teacher. To find your local Florida Edcamp, visit http://edcamp.wikispaces.com. All Florida educators are invited and welcomed to EdCamp Tampa Bay coming up on October 10, 2015! We would love to have you join in our fun. To register, visit www.edcamptampabay.com.
Many thanks to Tanya, Lisa, Tammy, and Remind!