On being a connected educator

My journey in the world of education has always been rich with professional development opportunities. Just as we ask students to connect their learning, I believe educators need to do the same. As a new teacher I was surrounded by skilled and talented mentors who highlighted for me the importance of developing positive relationships with students and creating a learning atmosphere where students feel they are valued, respected, and free to take risks. As a young educator I also registered for multiple additional qualification courses which helped solidify my understanding of content and pedagogy. Since this time I have been fortunate to be a part of collaborative learning teams at the school and board level that have challenged me to be a more reflective educator- adapting best practice to meet the changing needs of students. It has been through collaborative learning teams that I have begun to adopt an inquiry stance with my own teaching practice. This has allowed me to dig deeper into the role of technology and inquiry in student engagement and self-efficacy. 

This March Break, however, I became more cognisent of another form of professional development that has contributed greatly to my current understanding of pedagogy - digital connections! Many mornings this week I poured myself a cup of tea, opened my iPad, and connected with my growing digital community of educators. Using Flipboard I read tweets and and Google+ posts from educators around the world. I have posted links to 3 of my favourite below. In the blog below about Genius Hour I came across this image which speaks to the importance of maintaining that childhood wonder - not only in our students but ourselves as well. 

My 'ah ha's:
- technologies help students develop and extend creativity and initiative
- they are flexible (incorporate both direct insturction and discovery learning)

My 'ah ha's:
- 20% time allows students to take control over their own learning
- learning doesn't start or end in school

My 'ah ha's:
"Students like to know why they’re learning something and they want to access that information through a lens that interests them." 


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