A Focus on Teachers

Working Group
Connected Educator Month
Goals:

Monthlong campaign. Accelerate innovations in learning. Crowdsource new ideas.

Working Group
Support Educator Innovators
Goals:

Support innovation for both educators and youth. Chance for teachers and educators inside and outside of school to innovate and remix practices for creative and connected learning.

Working Group
Tasty Bites: Experiments in New Approaches to Professional Development
Goals:

Teachers as co-designers. “Playdate” approach. Maker sessions, collaborative projects, exploratory time.

Working Group
Unconference
Goals:

MOOC where teachers and practitioners can “level up” together.

Connected Educator Month 2014

Millions of educators and others around the world have participated in hundreds of professional development opportunities as part of Connected Educator Month (CEM) the last two years. Based on its success in 2012 and 2013, the initiative is poised to reach even more educators in 2014 through expanded partnerships and enhanced programming. CEM aims to help educators, schools, museums, libraries and after-school programs promote and integrate online social learning in their formal professional development; get more educators connected to each other; deepen and sustain learning of those already connected; and enable collaboration and innovation in professional development that cuts across formal and informal learning spaces. This year’s celebration will feature webinars and discussions on topics ranging from online learning, MOOCs and professional development to mobile device implementation and social networking classrooms. Learn more here.

Make Summer

Every summer, major advocates for the potential of the Internet put Connected Learning into practice during the Summer of Making and Connecting. This annual summer campaign aims to help youth connect learning to their interests and to enable teachers to learn from and network with their innovative peers. Last summer, hundreds of educators, students, writers, thinkers and tinkers participated in events, projects and programs across the country and online as part of the Summer of Making and Connecting. From the Making Learning Connected MOOC to Mozilla’s Maker Party to the online Camp NaNoWriMo, the campaign brought together organizations from the worlds of DIY, making, writing and learning.

Investing in Innovators

Reimagining Education was the birthplace of the Educator Innovator Fund. Beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, the Fund is providing direct support in re-imagining learning on the ground. Practitioners working with youth and communities can get micro-financing to move their practice toward connected learning and community engagement. Businesses and foundations can contribute to the fund to help seed innovation in communities across the country.

Badging Connected Educators

Digital Promise has designed a set of badges to facilitate and highlight connections between educators and the new knowledge they are acquiring. Launched with Connected Educator Month in partnership with the National Writing Project’s Educator Innovator Initiative, a goal of the badge effort is to surface and connect those educators that are applying especially innovative practices to their work.

Unconference Online

MIT’s Media Lab partnered last summer with the Educator Innovator Network to test a new platform for convening “unconferences” of educators online. The unHangout tool is based on an open source platform that leverages Google Hangouts. The online tool is designed to bring educators together around shared interests, while allowing an unlimited number of breakout conversations. (You can read more about the beta test on DMLcentral.) Once the lessons learned from last summer are incorporated, unHangouts will be used to support educator professional development and, potentially, interested-driven teen learning. Talks are also underway to connect the unHangouts with TEDxBeaconStreet to build social learning around their collection of presentations.

Keep It Moving Forward

Connected Educator Month won’t end in October. Around the world, educators are working together to continue the excitement, the learning and the reflection on connecting and collaborating in the classroom, school, district and beyond. CEM 2014 will feature hundreds of sessions from around the world. Click here to see archives of past sessions, plus ongoing international events and activities you can participate in all year long. To view a calendar of upcoming events, click here.

MAKE. WRITE. REMIX.

The Summer of Making and Connecting organizes hundreds of events, projects and programs in communities across the nation, around the world and online to help young people and their teachers create things on the web, with hardware and on paper. Events and projects linked by a powerful shared interest in Connected Learning take place all summer long. Check out the calendar of upcoming events for 2014 to see how you can get involved.

Network for Innovators

The National Writing Project’s Educator Innovator is an online meeting place where educators can network with innovative peers and find open professional learning opportunities from a growing set of partners. Educator Innovator will provide opportunities throughout the year for educators to grow and share their skills. To stay up to date with upcoming events, check out their calendar. 

Connected Learning TV

Connected Learning TV is a platform for thousands of leading practitioners to share ideas and practices. Each month, Connected Learning TV streams live Google+ Hangouts from their monthly series on connected learning communities & topics. All webinars are now being broadcast through www.connectedlearning.tv, and broad, real-time participation via the Twitter hashtag #connectedlearning is encouraged. You can view past webinars in the “Video Library” section at the bottom of this page.

Pursuitery

Pursuitery is building a friendly and supportive online space for people to connect with others who share their interests and want to level up their expertise together. It’s a place where people can hang out, mess around, and geek out. You can host and join “geekouts” which are scheduled online gatherings on a topic of interest. You can also create “challenges” which are ways of letting the community know about interesting opportunities to be part of shared projects, competitions, and other kinds of events. Geekouts and challenges are organized based on interest areas. To learn more, click here.

YALSA Teen Read Week

Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It began in 1998 and is held annually during the third week of October. Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users. This year, Teen Read Week takes place October 12-18, 2014. Educators can find planning tools and other resources here.

Mozfest 2014

The Mozilla Festival (#MozFest) is where many of Mozilla’s best and most innovative ideas spring to life. It’s where passionate thinkers and inventors come together to learn from one another and engage in a conversation about how the web can do more, and do better. As part of Mozilla’s mission to promote openness and opportunity on the web, MozFest invites you to nurture the spark of an idea through hands-on sessions and interactive workshops while in the company of extraordinary technologists and creators. Mozfest 2014 will take place October 24 – 26, 2014. For more info, click here.