October 20, 2013 by Brad Currie
Former Arizona Cardinals football coach Dennis Green once made a hilarious comment after a playoff game that his team lost: “They are who we thought they were.” Coach Green was incredibly frustrated that he team was beaten during the playoffs. Not sure if he used proper grammar, in fact I am not even sure if this blog post title is correct. The fact remains that Connected Educators month is coming to an end. After connecting with many educators in school, through social media, and by attending various conferences I have no doubt that “we are who we thought we were.” I have come to the conclusion that most educators are connected in a variety of ways. There is so much sharing going on it is absolutely incredible.
Take for example my attendance at TechForum NY recently. There were so many thought leaders from the world of educational technology who were willing to share their insight. I learned so much both as an attendee and as a presenter. People are doing so amazing things in our schools throughout the country. The more we share ideas and resources at conferences, the more students benefit. A trend continued for me as well, and that entails knowing so many people going into conferences from being connected on Twitter and other forms of social media. Having these relationship provides an opportunity to overcome the awkwardness of meeting people and quickly enables sharing to thrive.
The next day at the Edscape Conference I was able hang out with my extended PLN family and continue learning about new innovations. The keynote, George Couros inspired me to continue my role as a lead learner who does what’s best for kids on a daily basis. Eric Sheninger and his New Milford community provided an atmosphere that promoted collaboration and sharing of best practices. On the ride home I couldn’t stop laughing and reflecting on what the day meant to me as a professional who is always looking to be better at what I do. The friendships I now have with outstanding educators from around the world is truly amazing.
As you can see, I truly believe that “I am who I thought was” if that makes any sense. In the simplest form, I am a connected educator who leverages the power of social media to make connections with the best minds in the business. It’s a no-brainer and directly impacts the success of all students. And deep down inside I know that my fellow PLN peeps feel the same way. You can see it in their eyes, that the landscape of education has changed for the better. We are no longer in isolation keeping best practice ideas away from each other. Rather, we are now a group of connected educators who strive to be more innovative, engaging, and relevant.