Listen to the latest from Connected Educators Radio: The End of Teaching in Isolation, National Geographic, Confessions of a Connected Math Teacher

We have started a BAM Radio station that will feature connected goodness throughout the year called Connected Educators Radio. Tune in to Connected Educators Radio to hear the latest developments on connected educator initiatives around the globe, highlights from connected events and the back stories on the people and programs involved in the drive to connect the entire education community worldwide.Your show hosts: Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Tom de Boor, Darren Cambridge.

Here’s the latest from Connected Educators Radio 

The End of Teaching in Isolation and the Future of Schools and Learning

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Tom De Boor, Sara Trettin, James Liou

picIn this segment we talk about how teachers are  moving from isolation to connection, sharing and collaboration. Listen in as we discuss what this means for the future of education.

Follow: @lioujames @saraesuiter
@snbeach @dcambrid @edconnectr @bamradionetwork

Listen now


[Connected Educator Minute] National Geographic to Help Teachers Collaborate Worldwide

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Darren Cambridge, Lina Gomez

picNational Geographic has a long history of bringing  people and cultures from the f far reaches of the world to us. Now they are helping teachers and classrooms from around the world connect, collaborate and share.

Follow: @GeoEducators @snbeach
@dcambrid @edconnectr@bamradionetwork

Listen now


[Connected Educator Minute] True Confessions of a Connected Math Teacher 

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Darren Cambridge, Mark D James

picIn this segment we spend a minute with a math teacher who tells us what triggered him to connect with other math teachers and what happened when he did.

Follow: @mdjames67 @snbeach
@dcambrid @edconnectr@bamradionetwork

Listen now

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Two Flavors of Collaboration Evident during Connected Educator Month: Collaboration & Capacity Building, Weeks 1-2, Part 1

This blog post was written by Darren Cambridge, Director of Policy Research and Development, National Council of Teachers of English, on behalf of the Collaboration and Capacity Building theme curation team, which worked together to cover realted events and resources through the first two weeks of Connected Educator Month and met to identify key themes and examples. 

Discussion of collaboration was ubiquitous throughout the first two weeks of Connected Educator Month (CEM) 2014, ubiquitous enough that it’s going to take two blog posts, of which this is the first, to cover. That’s not just because of the volume of events, however. Synthesizing the conversations about collaboration is challenging because of the many ways in which participants in CEM use the term.

One way to think about the many uses of collaboration is through the distinction  Steven Downes makes between collaboration and cooperation. In collaboration, the individual works as part of a whole. An individual’s contribution is part of a collective effort toward mutually agreed goals. I’ll call this way of thinking about collaboration “collaboration as teamwork.” In cooperation, each individual is pursuing her own goals, but by doing so in relationship to a network, she benefits from the intersection of her work and that of others. The social relationship between individuals is an emergent property of the network rather than an intentionally created group. I’ll call this form of collaboration “collaboration as cooperation.”

Collaboration & Capacity Building

Collaboration as Cooperation

Collaboration as cooperation was prominent in blogs and Twitter chats throughout the first two weeks of CEM. For example, during a #caedchat, participants said they valued making connections through their participation in networks because, in the words of @EdtechBUSB, it “opens a wider door.” They benefit from hearing perspectives to which they might otherwise not have been exposed. Connecting through personal learning networks, especially via Twitter, also provides a way to get questions answered quickly and well, engages educators in reflection in dialogue with others, and provides a venue for sharing stories of practice. @JudyArtz suggests it also provides reach, enabling collaboration across disciplines and beyond the education field, on both local and global scales.

In a blog post on Edutopia and in his new book The Relevant Educator (coauthored with Steve Anderson), Tom Whitby argues that collaboration as cooperation should be the new normal for all educators. It “requires a mindset of believing there is room to learn and grow. It is also a belief that we are smarter collectively than individually.”

Collaboration as Teamwork

The need for collaboration as teamwork, not just collaboration as cooperation, was evident throughout Connected Educator Month 2013. This year is no different. Collaboration as teamwork also received significant attention during the first two weeks of CEM, particularly by those participants focused on building the collective capacity of schools, districts, and communities, not just that of individual educators. This type of collaboration is arguably harder to pull off than cooperation through looser networks. However, there are research-based principles for doing it well.

Collaboration is particularly powerful as a form of professional learning. Here, collaboration is enacted through groups of educators engaging in organized and sustained inquiry focused on improving student learning. During the Good Teaching Summit, organized by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), René Islas from Learning Forward pointed to research-based standards for professional learning that align with this definition. Effective professional learning is characterized by continuous improvement, collective responsibility, peer-based accountability, acceptance of experimentation, and alignment.

Similarly, the National Center for Literacy Education (of which NCTAF and Learning Forward are both stakeholder organizations) has synthesized research on effective collaboration and professional learning to define a capacity-building framework with six domains:

  1. Deprivatizing practice
  2. Using evidence effectively
  3. Creating collaborative culture
  4. Maintaining an inquiry stance
  5. Enacting shared agreements
  6. Supporting collaboration systemically

These two examples suggest that teachers, principals, and superintendents seeking to support collaboration as teamwork need not fly blind. There is a substantial body of research on effective collaboration around which organizations such as these have developed resources and tools.

It is clear from this body of research that collaboration as teamwork depends on teams having access to both appropriate evidence of student learning and information about research on relevant and effective instructional practices. For example, the limitations of high-stakes testing data as evidence to inform collaboration was a key theme in the New Frontiers in Assessment Hot Seat discussion with Scott Filkins, high school teacher and author of Beyond Standardized Truth: Improving Teaching and Learning through Inquiry-Based Reading Assessment. Filkins and the other participants in the discussion pointed to formative assessment techniques, including systematic observation of students in action (“kidwatching”) and collective examination of student work, as essential to providing the fuller picture of student learning that collaboration requires.

In a webinar, leaders of the PowerUp What Works project demonstrated the importance for collaboration of content that presents research in accessible and usable formats. PowerUp WhatWorks provides a comprehensive collection of information about research-grounded best practice in the use of technology in the classroom and helps educators integrate it into professional learning.

Collaborative Instruction

Collaboration as teamwork may extend beyond professional learning outside the classroom to collaborative approaches to instruction itself, ranging from coordinated assignments across subjects, to teachers co-teaching classes, to more comprehensive models such as NCTAF’s Learning Studios, in which teams and teachers from multiple subject areas, students, and experts from the community work together over the course of the year to solve real-world STEM problems. Here too there is research to guide collaborative practice. For example, in an article contributed to CEM by MiddleWeb, Elizabeth Stein points to seven principles originally developed through research on instructional coaching that can be applied to co-teaching: equality, choice, voice, dialogue, reflection, praxis, and reciprocity.

Because collaboration as cooperation and collaboration as teamwork contribute to educators’ professional learning and practice, we hope to learn more through the rest of Connected Educator Month about how they can work together. Last year’s CEM also engaged with this challenge, and out of that work emerged a Future Ready Professional Development Toolkit that the US Department of Education will release in conjunction with an event at the White House next month. Watch this space for more details about that resource.

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Capacity Building: Linking PD And Practice

ASCD is leading the Educator Professional Development and Learning theme for Connected Educator Month 2014, and this week’s subtheme focuses on planning and designing professional learning.This post by ASCD Professional Learning Services Faculty member Pete Hall describes important considerations for planning professional development to build educator capacity. Click here to register for Hall’s free webinar, coming this Wednesday at 3 p.m. eastern time. Use promo code CEM14 to receive 20 percent off his book Building Teachers’ Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders.

Recently, we’ve heard the term capacity building used more and more frequently. But what does this term really mean, and how does it manifest itself in education circles? My desktop dictionary defines capacity as “the amount that can be contained.” This conjures up an image of the human heart and how much capacity it has for blood.

Capacity-building-post-300x300However, at ASCD, we believe in the expansiveness of capacity. We believe capacity can grow, strengthen, and increase, like the heart’s capacity for love.

It’s an alluring concept, to say the least, to believe we are capable of building our teachers’ and leaders’ capacity to bring about change, to experience success, and to drive student learning. And it’s true. We can do just that, and engaging in true capacity-building work can have monumental effects on our student, teacher, team, school, and district outcomes.

ASCD has embraced a two-part model of capacity building in its publications and various professional development platforms (online, on-site, and in conferences). On one hand, we must build collective capacity, strengthening the ranks and building a cohesive team. This is done through the careful construction and nurturing of a professional learning community.

Read the rest of this article at ASCD’s site


About Pete Hall

Pete HallPete Hall is a veteran teacher, principal, educational leadership consultant, and author of several books, including Building Teachers’ Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders. He is also a member of the ASCD Professional Learning Services Faculty. Follow him on Twitter at @educationhall.

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Connectedness in the Language Classroom: Leadership for Change

This blog post was written by ISTE Emerging Leader Ixchell ReyesISTE is leading the theme Leadership for Change during Connected Educator Month.

As a teacher of English as an additional language, one thought has always remained clear: prepare students for a world where they must communicate accurately and share their knowledge and talent with their community. 

Some of my students are from countries where political unrest is under-reported and understated in the nightly news.  They arrive in the U.S. filled with wonder, awe, and often, fear of the unknown or what has been reported about us abroad. First order of business is to teach them how to read unspoken cues so that they can adapt while they study in America.

While grammar, communication, and writing lessons are extremely important in my intensive English courses, I stress to my students two things:

  • Strive to communicate as clearly as you can as everything boils down to communication
  • Do what you can with what you have and share what you’ve learned with the rest of the world (communicate!)

At first, these two points run the risk of being lost amidst the unavoidable language drills and assessment tests. Students wonder, how will I ever even manage to finish a degree in a different language? Through constant reminder that everything is connected and to find the relationship between success and struggle, my students come to see the meaning of these messages.

Careful planning and development of lessons that incorporate authentic language exchange helps my students begin to see that language shapes thinking, and that thinking shapes behavior, and ultimately that the combination of the two aspects can lead to action that pushes for change.

students studyingHow do I know that my students have come to understand this? Reflection is crucial in personal and professional growth, so I have students reflect after major projects and assignments. Mid-semester they begin listing in their reflections the ways their thinking has changed; they can see growth and recognize their development of a new perspective on the world based on those they’ve come in contact with, Americans or people from other countries.  This leads me to the last assignment I give to every student when they complete my class, homework for life: keep in touch; stay connected; communicate.

Many students write back to report how much they’ve changed once they return to their home countries. They often write that they hope to send their future children to study abroad so that they too, can gain that extra “set of eyes” through which they can view the world.

And this to me is connectedness through leadership. What someone might view as a simple act of teaching language does a lot more than the beholder sees. Giving language, the tools to communicate, is also giving a new perspective and a new set of tools to tackle difficult issues. On a grand-scale some of my students will one day be leaders in their countries, leaders who can through communication lead others to solve world problems like hunger, disease, poverty, and war.

About the author

Ixchell ReyesIxchell Reyes teaches at the USC International Academy and is an ISTE Emerging Leader. She is an avid fan of TV dramas, video games, and felines. You can follow her on Twitter @Ixy_pixy .  Ixchell serves as the Media Tech Team Coordinator for the CA Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages in the Inland Empire. Are you an ESOL teacher in California? Check out CATESOL! Website | Twitter | Facebook


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All the Connected Educator Month events you won’t want to miss October 22-28

It’s time for yet another week of Connected Educator Month goodness! Each Tuesday in October, we’ll post a roundup of featured events for the upcoming week. View the entire calendar hereIn this post are all the events you won’t want to miss October 21-28!  First, events from our theme leaders and sponsors:

E-Rate: Big Changes with More to Come

Jessica Rosenworcel

Jessica Rosenworcel

Tuesday, October 21, 4:00 – 5:00 pm EST

This summer, the FCC made sweeping changes to the E-Rate program, focusing its support on WiFi and eliminating non-broadband services. In a few weeks, it may approve more changes and more funding. Join this ISTE webinar, featuring remarks from FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, to get a handle on what’s in, what’s out and what’s coming for the E-Rate. Register here | Attend the webinar here

Webinar: Peek inside the Life of a Connected Learner with Powerful Learning Practice

PLP WEbinarWednesday, October 22 • 10:00am

Hosted by PLP co-founder & CEO and ISTE Board Member Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. Spend an hour chatting with us and find out about our unique brand of coached, team-based professional learning and how to learn like connected learners do – through action research, lesson plan studies, virtual classroom visits, and more. Register for this free, one hour webinar, with many convenient dates and times (check the calendar or click the registration link for more upcoming dates). Seating is limited, so reserve your spot today!

ISTE Webinar: Developing Your Mobile Learning Landscape – From Readiness to Digital Citizenship

Thursday, October 23, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm EST

Presented by Justina Nixon-Saintil, Yoly Ramos, Helen Crompton, Jenna Linskens, and Brandon Olszewski.

This webinar will introduce a powerful new professional learning experience for teachers, tech coaches, and administrators who are interested in bringing their school up to digital age standards. The Verizon Mobile Learning Academy (VMLA) is a free, facilitated, online professional learning course for educators focusing on developing mobile learning at the school or district level. Funded by ConnectED partner the Verizon Foundation and designed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), this 10-week course covers key areas for mobile learning integration efforts, including assessing institutional readiness, frameworks on technology integration, mobile lesson development, management strategies, and digital citizenship. Successful completion of the course also results in CEU’s from Johns Hopkins University School of Education for participants, all at no cost to schools and districts! Come and meet ISTE faculty to develop your own understanding about mobile learning, and learn about an amazing opportunity to take mobile learning at your school to the next level!

Connected Cafe Twitter Chats

connected-cafeConnected Cafe is a series of Twitter chats (#ce14) each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7-8pm EDT throughout October, co-sponsored by ISTE and CTQISTE Board Member and Connected Educator Month co-leader Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach will facilitate the #ce14 chat. Our guest hosts will interact with the moderator and other participants around their area of expertise as it relates to connected learning or leadership for change.

Here’s what’s coming up this week during Connected Cafe:

Krista Moroder

Krista Moroder

Tuesday, October 21 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Empowering Teachers to Become Learners

Guest: Krista Moroder, Professional Development Manager at Digital PromiseISTE Young Educator Network Leader


Brianna Crowley and Jessica Cuthbertson

Brianna Crowley and Jessica Cuthbertson

Wednesday, October 22 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Teacherpreneurs – What Are They?

Guests: CTQ teacherpreneurs Brianna Crowley and Jessica Cuthbertson


Torrey Trust

Torrey Trust

Thursday, October 23 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Critical Skills For Connected Educators

Guest: Torrey Trust, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Learning Technology at University of Massachusetts Amherst, ISTE PLN leader

Capacity-Building: Linking Professional Development and Practice – ASCD webinar

Wednesday, October 22 • 3:00pm – 4:00pm

In this webinar, Pete Hall discusses ASCD’s approach to capacity building within a school system, addressing these questions and more. Hall, an award-winning educator and author of Building Teachers’ Capacity for Success, will emphasize the development of educators’ reflective skills and tendencies to augment the technical proficiencies that enhance our professional practice.

In a strengths-based, coaching-oriented model, Hall will share how we can strengthen organizations by simultaneously bolstering our individual and collective capacity. This webinar includes tips for school leaders, decision makers, teachers, and anyone with an interest in increasing educator effectiveness. Register here.

U.S. Department of Education Webinars

What are Future Ready Schools and Classrooms?

Wednesday, October 22 • 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Amid all of the conversation of buying devices, bringing Internet to and through schools, and adopting digital content, it can be easy to lose track of a focused vision. Without a vision for what teaching and learning can and should be in schools and classrooms, though, districts run a high risk of paying for resources that are underused, misused, or not used at all. Join as our panelists discuss the moves they’ve made to leverage connectivity, digital content, and devices to expand and deepen the learning of students in their districts. Let their examples help shape a clear vision and goal for digital learning. Join the conversation.

Designing and Evaluating Effective Online Communities of Practice

Thursday, October 23 • 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Presented by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology and in conjunction with the release of The Connected Community: Exploratory Research on Designing Online Communities of Practice publication, this webinar will feature researchers and community leaders discussing what it takes to develop online communities of practice that produce value. In particular, the panel will discuss how online communities create value, the features of online communities that produce value, and questions community designers should consider when launching an online community of practice. Join the conversation.

How Do We Support Future Ready Teaching?

Tuesday, October 28 • 8-9 pm

A district with a clear vision that lacks the capacity to put that vision to practice might as well have no vision at all. Join our panelists as they discuss the various ways their districts have implemented structured efforts to build capacity of practice for their teachers to ensure resources are used to personalize digital learning in a way that is aligned with their districts’ visions. Join the conversation.

Weekly Blended Learning Tweetups & Panels sponsored by CUE

tweetupTweetups happen every Tuesday in October at #ce14 and #blendedlearning on Twitter. This week: Blended Learning Reflections & Insights - Tuesday, October 28 • 8:00pm – 9:00pm TweetUp Topic: What are your reflections and insights from participating in the blended learning strand during connected educator month?

Panel 4: Reflections and Insights about Blended Learning with CUE

Monday, October 27. 7:00-8:30 EST / 4:00-5:30 PST

The purpose of this webinar is for participants to share their insights and reflections about blended learning. In particular, reflecting on any of the activities from the Connected Educator Month blended learning strand. Whether you viewed a webinar recording, saw a Tweet, or participated in the discussion forum, join this webinar to share your reflections and insights.

Registration is free, but please register and add to your Connected Educator Month calendar

New Frontiers in Assessment Hot Seats with NCLE

The dominant practices in assessment today have not kept pace with what we know about how students learn. To help broaden the conversation about assessment, NCLE will be putting an expert or team of experts on innovative approaches to assessment on the “hot seat” each week in October. Each week’s guest(s) will participate throughout the week in a conversation about their work and the questions it raises about the future of assessment in an online discussion forum. Anyone is welcome to join the conversation at

October 20-26 - Owen Astrachan, Professor of the Practice of  Computer Science and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Duke University and Lien Diaz, Senior Director, AP Program, College Board

Owen Astrachan and Lien Diaz are co-principal investigators for the AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) project. CSP is a new high school Computer Science course, slated to become an official AP course in 2016-2017, that focuses on the creative aspect of computing and computational thinking practices that enable students to experience how computing impacts their everyday lives. The design of the course is innovative, and so is the associated AP assessment, which is currently under development. The assessment includes a number of performance tasks that students complete both individually and collaboratively, submitting reflective writing about the tasks as well as their products, all of which is to be evaluated using rubrics.

Creating Inter-organizational Collaboration for Educational Transformation (CrICET) Webinars

CrICET: Learning Studios - Thursday, October 23, 3 PM – 4 PM ET

Melinda George, Elizabeth Foster, and Don Glass, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future 

The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Learning Studios model engages teams of students and teachers with outside experts to learn STEM through extended, authentic, collaborative projects. The speakers will share the model and what we can learn from it about improving the structure and outcomes of education.

CrICET: Networked Learning Communities -  Tuesday, October 28, 10 AM – 11 AM ET

Mark Hadfield, Cardiff University and Michael Jopling, Northumbria University

The Networked Learning Communities (NLC) program engaged over 134 school networks across the UK, involving approximately 35,000 staff and over 675,000 pupils between 2002 and 2006. Many of these networks continue and have stimulated further collaboration. The speakers will share their experience with the NLC model, how it has influenced subsequent work, and its implications for future educational improvement.

Webinars with ISTE Mobile Learning Network

downloadMonday October 27

Check out these webinars on mobile learning from ISTE.

Let the Writing Talk: What the Work of the National Day on Writing Teaches Us About Assessment

download (1)Thursday, October 23 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

For the National Day on Writing, thousands of young authors are writing about their communities, using not only text, but also images, videos, and more. What does this diverse collection of writing have to say about literacy today? How can we assess its quality, and what insights does that provide on how to support literacy education? A panel of distinguished educators, all experts on assessing reading and writing, will examine selections from the collection and reflect together on these questions.

Creating a global classroom with Ann S. Michaelsen

Tuesday, October 28 • 1:00pm – 1:45pm

7 steps to create a global classroom using the advice from the book “Connected Learners” written by students and teacher Ann Michaelsen with examples from the classroom.


Saturday, October 25 & Sunday, October 26, check out all these great edCamps. What’s an edCamp you ask? edCamp is a 1-day “unconference.” It is a chance for those in education (teachers, administrators, etc) to get together, network, share and learn. The day is planned during the kick off at the beginning of the day where any participant can propose a session idea/topic to the session list. All sessions are laid out and then everyone attends sessions they want during the rest of the day.

Other top events to check out:

Digital Citizenship Week by Common Sense Education

October 19-25

digcitweek-graphic-748x707-01Celebrate the Second Annual Digital Citizenship Week – October 19-25. Join us to shine a spotlight on the importance of helping kids learn how to create safe, responsible digital lives. Check out these resources and learn how Common Sense Education’s whole-community approach engages everyone — from educators and students to parents, district officials, and community leaders.

Dig in and sign up here.

Book Talk with Danah Boyd, author of ‘It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens’

Wednesday, October 22 • 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Danah boyd is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center. What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.

Webinar: Getting ready for teaching & learning online

Wednesday, October 22 • 11:00pm – 12:00am

This is a hands on workshop for teachers who are keen to participate in online learning with the VLN Primary School. Whether you are supporting students who are online learners (mTeacher) or if you are teaching online yourself (eTeacher), or if you just want to see how it all works; this ‘induction’ workshop will prepare you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to step out with your kids in the world of virtual learning. This workshop session will introduce you to the VLN Primary online learning initiative; you will learn how to use some online tools – Adobe Connect, Welearn & Google Docs to develop an online class, and explore some strategies for teaching and learning online.

Digital Citizenship Twitter Chat (#Digcit)

Wednesday, October 22 • 7:00pm – 7:00pm

Digital Citizenship Chat (#digcit) takes place on Twitter every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 7 pm Eastern time. Tonight we will discuss the ways in which educators can contribute positively to their digital footprint. Follow and use the #digcit hashtag to join us!

STEM Basics for Educators

Wednesday, October 22 • 8:00pm – 9:00pm

This webinar examines the integrated STEM initiative, the characteristics of a K-12 STEM program (with a middle school focus), and some tips for writing STEM lessons.

STEM Pathways presented by SmartBrief Education

Thursday, October 23 • 10:00am – 12:00pm

SmartBrief’s Education team is launching STEM Pathways, a roundtable series that aims to explore real-world ways in which education and industry can work together to address skill gaps and guide students toward careers in STEM fields. Talking points for the roundtable include:

  • How can associations take a leadership role in developing and promoting STEM programs that help fill workforce needs?
  • How can industry and education come together to solve these problems?
  • What are the barriers and resistance points to these types of STEM programs?


Webinar: ECE ONLINE – Connect, collaborate and build your professional learning network

Thursday, October 23 • 1:00am – 2:00am

ECEOnline is a free online community for anyone interested in young children’s education. In this workshop, Justine will introduce the ECEONLINE community and how you can use this to connect with others, share information and build a learning network. Contact: Justine Mason, CORE Education (

Scholastic Mini-PD: The Future of Blended Learning

Thursday, October 23 • 7:00pm – 7:45pm

Join us for a Scholastic Mini-PD discussion focused on “The Future of Blended Learning.”

Through this 40-minute, interactive panel discussion, you will:
1) Learn about the concept of “blended learning” and how it’s being effectively implemented in schools around the country.
2) Dig deep into trending topics, such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), access to broadband, and the rapid improvement of student access to tech.
3) Gain insights into where the leading minds in ed tech see blended learning 10 years from now.

How to Support Blended Learning Teachers: Tips, Tools and A Rubric

Friday, October 24 • 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Transforming instructional practice can be hard without the proper tools and supports in place. Ed Elements developed a rubric in collaboration with several public school coaches based on our work with 2000 teachers and coaches. Join this session where we will discuss the rubric, the hows and the whys of teacher support. Want to read the rubric ahead of time? You go getter you! Check it out here.

Monarch Butterflies and Citizen Science

Monday, October 27 • 6:30pm – 8:00pm

This web seminar will explore the web site associated with the IMAX filmFlight of the Butterflies for educational resources and activities and discover resources available for tracking and monitoring monarch butterflies. The presenters will be Jim O’Leary from the Maryland Science Center and Katie-Lyn Bunney from the University of Minnesota. Jim and Katie-Lyn will share information about engaging students with the migration habits and life cycle of monarch butterflies through hands-on projects.

WEBINAR: Moving towards 1:1 devices – exploring different approaches and lessons learned

Monday, October 27 • 10:45pm – 11:30pm

Lesley Murrihy, principal Amesbury School and Mark Quigley, DP Orewa College will share:

  • why they chose a 1:1 approach
  • how they implemented 1:1
  • changes/benefits for students and teachers
  • lessons learned

This is an interactive webinar and participants will have time to ask questions of Lesley, Mark, and Howard Baldwin from the Ministry of Education.

Using Educational Technology in the Classroom

Tuesday, October 28 • 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Digital learning tools are becoming ever more common in K-6 classrooms. With this shift, teachers are looking for high-quality content for students that allows them to differentiate instruction and assess student comprehension.

In this TIME For Kids webinar we’ll offer tips on how to incorporate multimedia across the curriculum, with suggestions from TFK teachers.

Social Media for School Branding Tweetchat

Tuesday, October 28 • 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Learn the basics of school branding–from logos to mottos to messaging and more–in this tweetchat presented by the National Association of Elementary School Principals & the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Jump in and swap your favorite strategies for sharing your school’s story.

Webinar: Communication in the mathematics classroom

Tuesday, October 28 • 10:45pm – 12:00am

Leadership in mathematics. Research tells us that student interaction – through classroom discussion and other forms of interactive participation – is foundational to deep understanding and related student achievement. But implementing discussion in the mathematics classroom can be challenging. This webinar will explore effective practices that encourage student discourse and productive mathematical discussion. The teacher plays a vital role to orchestrate high level mathematical reasoning through questioning and the use of “talk moves”.

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Tomorrow: Don’t miss a webinar with ISTE & the FCC Commissioner all about E-Rate

Are you an educational leader? Then you won’t want to miss this important webinar from ISTE featuring FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel happening tomorrow afternoon!


E-Rate: Big Changes with More to Come

Jessica Rosenworcel

Jessica Rosenworcel

Tuesday, October 21, 4:00 – 5:00 pm EST

This summer, the FCC made sweeping changes to the E-Rate program, focusing its support on WiFi and eliminating non-broadband services. In a few weeks, it may approve more changes and more funding. Join this ISTE webinar, featuring remarks from FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, to get a handle on what’s in, what’s out and what’s coming for the E-Rate. Register here | Attend the webinar here

Tomorrow’s agenda

During this lightning fast hour of information, we’ll cover the following with our expert panel:

  • Welcome
  • Remarks — FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
  • Conversation – Jon Bernstein, Owner of Bernstein Strategy Group and Mel Blackwell, VP Schools and Libraries Program, USAC
  • School Panel – Mary Wegner, Superintendent of Sitka School District, Alaska, and Sheryl Abshire, Chief Technology Officer in the Calcasieu Parish School System in Lake Charles, Louisiana (Jon Bernstein moderating)
  • Conclusion

Prepare for the webinar: Read up on E-Rate

The E-Rate program is the largest federal education technology program and has been helping schools and libraries around the country connect to the internet since 1997. It’s also constantly changing. Get up to speed.

Interested in Policy? Here’s how you can take action with ISTE

Join ISTE’s Advocacy Network: The ISTE Advocacy Network is your one-stop shop for information about digital age learning policy and tools to help promote change in your community. Join our active network for access to state and federal ed tech policies, practical resources to support your advocacy efforts, opportunities to connect with peers, and more.

stock-img-children-headphones-220Take action: How will policymakers know that digital learning is important to their constituents if we don’t tell them? Our collective voices can impact policy. Please take a few minutes and take action to make your voice carry! Send a letter, tweet, or more.

Share your story: Inspire others by sharing how broadband connectivity enabled you to bring digital learning to the classroom. If ISTE publishes your story, we’ll send a thank you gift to show our appreciation!

Explore your state’s legislature leadership and composition, state education policy landscape and additional important information to aid your advocacy efforts.

Policy News & Info: Bookmark this page for ready access to important state and federal digital policy initiatives as well as valuable resources and tools to help your voice carry. ISTE has developed policy position statements to articulate our position on key policies that affect digital age learning and teaching.

Voices Carry Blog: Stay on top of the latest ed tech issues and learn from leaders in the field.

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This week in Connected Cafe: Empowering Teachers, Teacherpreneurs, Critical Skills for Connected Educators

Connected Cafe

Connected Cafe is a series of Twitter chats (#ce14) each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7-8pm EDT throughout October, co-sponsored by ISTE and CTQ.

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

ISTE Board Member and Connected Educator Month co-leader Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach will facilitate the #ce14 chat.

Our guest hosts will interact with the moderator and other participants around their area of expertise as it relates to connected learning or leadership for change.

Here’s what’s coming up this week during Connected Cafe:


Krista Moroder

Krista Moroder

Tuesday, October 21 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Empowering Teachers to Become Learners

Guest: Krista Moroder, Professional Development Manager at Digital PromiseISTE Young Educator Network Leader


Brianna Crowley and Jessica Cuthbertson

Brianna Crowley and Jessica Cuthbertson

Wednesday, October 22 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Teacherpreneurs – What Are They?

Guests: CTQ teacherpreneurs Brianna Crowley and Jessica Cuthbertson


Torrey Trust

Torrey Trust

Thursday, October 23 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Critical Skills For Connected Educators

Guest: Torrey Trust, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Learning Technology at University of Massachusetts Amherst, ISTE PLN leader

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Digital Age Leadership — How We Think about the Shift Matters

This blog post was written by ISTE Board Member Dr. John KellerISTE is leading the theme Leadership for Change during Connected Educator Month.

Leading communities of learners in the Digital Age is indisputably challenging–not for the faint of heart. The implications of the Digital Age for teaching and learning are difficult to understate and yet within this sense that a sea change is underway, leaders struggle to chart a course and to provide a sense of direction for those who are following.  How do we characterize the change?  Is it about learning vs. teaching, digital vs. analog, 24/7 network access?  How is it possible to focus on a vision for improved learning and student achievement when the most apparent and tangible change in many classrooms is the addition of devices and the very practical challenges these these devices pose for classroom and school norms?

I wish I could offer complete, exhaustive and authoritative answers to questions like these but I can’t.  Instead, I’d like to propose a way of thinking about the Digital Age shift that I hope will be helpful to leaders and conclude with a few observations about effective leadership in this exciting and challenging time.

Our school, like many, is grappling with the opportunity to use primarily digital resources as the core content of the curriculum as opposed to the primarily augmenting role such resources have played over the past decade or so.  As I was reflecting on this challenge, I was reminded of the phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan, “the medium is the message.”  McLuhan suggested that we would do well to understand the message and content of the medium itself rather than focusing only on the content that the medium is carrying in the moment.  Applying this idea to digital age learning, we would do well to understand what the medium of the textbook means for educational practice when we make attempts to swap online content for analog content.  In other words, the textbook metaphor as well as many other features of our industrial age schools carry important messages and shared understandings about what learning is and these messages will not be unseated simply by adopting online curriculum, enrolling students in virtual courses, or providing all students with devices.  Our still dominant media for education (textbooks, courses, bell schedules, Carnegie units, etc.) purvey important messages about how learning works and consequently represent widely shared understandings and culturally accepted notions of what education/teaching/learning is really about. Some of these messages are that learning is linear and convergent, content is vetted and authoritative, teachers ask questions and students give answers, etc.

 If we think we are simply shifting the medium, then we are going to use new tool to accomplish old tasks--the change will be more manageable and the results marginal and modest at best.

If we think we are simply shifting the medium, then we are going to use new tool to accomplish old tasks–the change will be more manageable and the results marginal and modest at best.

The primary tension of leading schools in the digital age is the tension between the established ideas of what it means to learn in a formal way and the new messages about what learning is in a world of global connections where learning is non-linear, divergent, collaborative, and requires constant critical awareness of bias and viewpoints.  If we think we are simply shifting the medium, then we are going to use new tool to accomplish old tasks–the change will be more manageable and the results marginal and modest at best.  If we are shifting the message about what learning is, what skills are valued, and how accomplishment is recognized, if we are going to use the new tools to do new things and to accomplish previously impossible tasks–the change will be messy and the payoff potentially larger.  Leaders need to know if the shift to digital age learning in their organization is going to be about doing things differently or doing different things. Let me add here that either/or thinking does not always serve our best purposes–so often a both/and approach is needed.  So, there are likely current approaches to learning worth preserving in function but that can be accomplished in new ways and with new tools.

Let me conclude by offering observations on effective leadership from my experience in schools and the government sector.  The clarity of the vision and the ability for leaders to articulate the vision is vital to any hopes of real change or success.  This is a point that is touched upon in nearly every article about leadership in any context–however, it must be raised again here. Engaging followers in an effort to achieve a future that is better than the current reality, requires a clear sense of what that future looks like and a sense of urgency informed by the opportunity cost of not pursuing that future.

To implement a vision, leaders need to understand the importance of expectation management.  Leaders must establish the expectation that iteration is the path to the future, that an ethic of experimentation fuels that iteration, and that strong feedback cycles inform the experimentation and iteration.  Effective leaders can energize their team around the notion that excellence is not a point on the path but a goal that is achieved by constantly getting better.

How leaders think about the changes for education and learning in the digital age matters a ton. The messages of the new learning media and metaphors cannot be ignored.


About Dr. John Keller

Dr. John KellerDr. John Keller is the Director of eLearning for the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township (a district of approximately 12,000 learners) on the east side of Indianapolis. John is assisting the district in its digital transition through the expansion of online learning, curriculum and assessment. John has served as an ISTE board member since 2011. Prior  experiences include five years in various positions in the Indiana Department of Education including assistant superintendent for technology, four years in the not for profit arena as a subject matter expert and product designer on an educational software project and six years as a classroom teacher in northern Indiana. John can be reached through the following channels:

Dr. John B. Keller
Director of eLearning
Metropolitan School District of Warren Township
975 North Post Road, Indianapolis, IN 46219
E-mail: jkeller1 (at) | Phone: 317.869.4329
ISTE Board Member | Twitter: @DrJohn_Keller | LinkedIn: Profile

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Being a Connected Educator: A Renewed Sense of Purpose

This blog post was originally posted at remindBlog and was written by Jimmy Casas.

Being a connected educator has not only provided me with an opportunity to teach again and to connect with others who understand my world, but more importantly, it has given me hope and a renewed sense of purpose.

The topic of social media continues to be a topic of discussion throughout the educational arena. Three years ago, I felt obliged to try and expand my professional learning network to help me develop as an educator and a leader in order to help support our teachers and students in the learning process. One way I did this was by connecting to Twitter. In doing so, I soon had access to a plethora of resources and other educators eager to learn and share like myself.

In November of 2012, I, Jimmy Casas, along with Matt Degner  and Aaron Becker, decided to start #IAedchat on Sundays at 8 pm CST as a way to bring Iowa educators and others from across the globe together on a weekly basis to discuss educational topics of interest. On January 6, 2013, we hosted our first #IAedchat and the response has been positively overwhelming ever since. As we grow together, we continue to expand our knowledge, challenge our thinking, and share resources. As I reflect on my journey to becoming a connected educator, three things come to mind.

1. Renewal

First, I felt a strong sense of renewal to my profession, both as an educator and as a principal. Not only have I been able to learn from others, but I’ve also been able to contribute to others by giving back my time and resources, which in turn helps our profession as a whole. I feel like I have been able to give back to this profession, a profession which has been so good to me, over the last twenty plus years.

2. Expanding knowledge

Connecting online has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge, which I hope will lead to more opportunities to teach. Like many that go into administration, the hardest part was leaving the classroom and realizing that my opportunities to make a daily impact on students would now be much more limited. In many ways, it has been the hardest transition for me personally because I have always seen myself as a teacher.

3. Relationships

Lastly, being connected has allowed me to expand my circle outside of our organization to reach others who desire to develop meaningful professional relationships. These relationships help me do the best work possible for our students, staff, and community, and to understand the complexities of the role of a principal. The truth is, being a principal is a lonely profession, and only those who are principals are able to understand what it feels like to have that sense of responsibility on our shoulders every day, every evening, every weekend, 365 days a year. Expanding my network on Twitter has changed both my professional career and personal life.

Tools to connect

In addition to Twitter, I continue to use other digital tools such as Remind and Voxer to connect both professionally and personally with my colleagues. Many educational Twitter chat moderators create Remind classes  to stay connected with participants in between chats, and send valuable resources including links, photos, files, and Voice Clips straight to educators’ mobile devices. It’sprofessional development at your fingertips!

These tools have been valuable in keeping me as a leader connected with members of my school community, including students, parents, and staff. In the course of the last three years, I have made hundreds of connections with other educators who are as motivated as I am to not only keep learning, but also to share their knowledge and expertise with other educators. By doing so, it has opened up other opportunities for me to explore and develop as an educator, provided me with a means to increase my content knowledge and to use what I have learned to contribute beyond something that is greater than myself. It has not only provided me with an opportunity to teach again and to connect with others who understand my world and give me strength to push forward, but more importantly, it has given me hope and a renewed sense of purpose.

About Jimmy Casas

Jimmy CasasJimmy Casas is in his 21st year of administrative leadership. He received his BA in Spanish and Master’s in Teaching from the University of Iowa and his Master’s in Administrative Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. He is currently working on his ED.S at the University of Iowa. Jimmy has served as principal at Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, Iowa for the last thirteen years. His passion for teaching and learning coupled with a vision for developing a community of leaders has procured a culture of excellence and high standards for learning amid a positive school culture for students and staff. Jimmy’s core purpose lies in serving others. Jimmy was named the 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year and was selected as one of three finalists for NASSP 2013 National Secondary Principal of the Year. In 2013 he received the Bammy Educators Voice Award as the Secondary School Principal of the Year. He is also the Co-Founder of EdCampIowa. Finally, Jimmy is the Co-Founder & Co-Moderator of #IAedchat, moderating the on-line discussion chat every Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. CST. Read More

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Spreading Your Wings And Becoming A Connected Educator

This blog post was originally posted at Teach Thought and was written by ASCD published author Michael Fisher. ASCD is leading the theme Educator Professional Development & Learning during Connected Educator Month.


I plugged into the internet in a focused way around 1994. Prior to that, I had dabbled in email not for communication’s sake but because it was a course requirement to email an assignment to my professor. 1994 was the first time I remember actually logging onto the internet for the sake of discovery. Back then, I printed everything of value that I came across. I used to have reams of paper stuffed into binders with all the information I was finding online.

After a few years of logging on simply to access information, the Web 2.0 tide started to shift from information access to information interaction. The new imperative was to do something with the information I was finding: remix it, visualize it, connect it, express myself with it, etc. The task became creating a new recipe with the existing ingredients.

After a few more years, the next shift was towards contribution. Now that I’ve filtered the information and done something new with it, I need to share it. And thus, we’ve reached the overarching purpose of this blog post. With that in mind, here are four steps to spreading your wings, beyond the walls of your own school, and becoming a Connected Educator:

1. Plug in

Blogging, tweeting, commenting on digital resources, etc. Go beyond lurking and become a contributor. See this infographic for degrees of connectedness… Go even further and participate in an established group: Nings such asThe Educator’s PLN or Classroom 2.0, #Hashtag #Chats #OnTwitter, ASCD EDge groups, Facebook pages, or anywhere else you can find value.

2. Make it official

Now is the perfect time to put social media to good use, as October is Connected Educator Month. Millions of educators the past two years have participated in hundreds of PD events and opportunities, and this year will be even bigger. Check out the calendar here or dive right into resources from ASCD, NCLE, and others.

Read the rest of this article at te@chthought


About Mike Fisher

Mike FisherMichael Fisher is a former teacher who is now a full-time author, consultant, and instructional coach. Michael is the author of Digital Learning Strategies: How do I assign and assess 21st Century Work? and the co-author of Upgrade Your Curriculum: Practical Ways to Transform Units and Engage Students, both published by ASCD. His latest e-book is Exploring the Close Reading Standard: Ideas and ObservationsWhy It’s Time For A Digital Professional Learning Network; Why Connected Professional Development Is Now An Imperative. Adapted image attribution flickr user usarmycorpofengineerssavannahdistrict

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