Connected Educator Month (CEM) kick-off sessions discuss STEM, peer collaboration, and more


What better way to commence Connected Educator Month (CEM), starting Oct. 1st, then to connect educators across the country to discuss topics most relevant to education today?

In an effort to highlight topics many educators say are critical to 21st century learning, Connected Educators highlighted six kick-off panels (three on Oct. 1st and three on Oct. 2nd) to get the virtual ball rolling on topics such as integrating formal and informal professional development, classroom management for the connected (think BYOD) classroom, and what it means to be a connected leader.

The six kick-off panels are based on topics connected educators can’t miss, especially due to some of the high-profile speakers, including Scott McLeod, Yong Zhao, Tom Carroll, to name a few. But there are also many other panels taking place during the first few days of Connected Educator Month, as well as throughout the month.

(Next page: A video, and the first 3 panels)

For a full list of panels, as well as helpful resources on how to get started in participating in Connected Educator Month, visit this starter page.

Why become a connected educator?


Also noteworthy: The National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, and Connected Principals have announced a joint Twitter chat series in celebration of Connected Educator Month and National Principals Month.

The chats will be held every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET during CEM, starting on October 9, and will cover a range of topics from getting colleagues connected to the potential impact of the ConnectED universal broadband/wireless initiative on schools. More information here.

[In chronological order]

1. Connected Leadership (3:00-4:30 PM ET, Oct. 1st):  What does it mean to be a connected leader? Why is it important, how is connected leadership impacting student achievement, and what are the best basic steps leaders can take today to become more connected? CEM will discuss the answers to these questions, as well as address the challenges networked leaders face, how they can be overcome, and what the future of connected leadership holds in a highly interactive, participatory CEM kick-off event, featuring an all-star cast of panelists (including Candice DodsonValerie GreenhillChris Lehmann, and Scott McLeod). Learn more and sign up.

2. From Connection to Collaboration (5:00-6:30 PM ET, Oct. 1st): Online community-building in education is marked by a series of rewarding challenges to be overcome–getting educators connected, sustaining the connections and, finally, reaching the ultimate goal: collaboration that moves the field forward. Some groups are good at getting educators connected, others at getting them to stay together and collaborate, the groups that can do all three appear to be magic, and they are, but theirs is a magic that can be learned and reproduced. Join CEM–and a prestigious cast of panelists (including Tom CarrollMarc PrenskyKecia RayConnie Yowell)–for a wide-ranging, highly interactive discussion covering everything from basic tips and tricks to the future of online connection/collaborative forms. Learn more and sign up.

3. Innovating STEM & Literacy (9:00-10:30 PM ET, Oct. 1st): STEM and literacy are two pillars of CEM’s educational challenge that virtually every educator is striving to address in one form or another, and connected education has a lot to offer both. What are the latest innovations in STEM and literacy education, and what new techniques can teachers apply in their classrooms today? Where are the overlaps and reinforcements between STEM and literacy, and what learning do these pedagogical fields have to offer one another? Join a powerful panel from both backgrounds (including Don Buckley, Jeanne CenturyElyse Eidman-Aadahl, and Kent Williamson) in getting the proverbial ball rolling on this fundamental CEM theme. Learn more and sign up.

(Next page: The 3 other panels)

4. Making It Count: Integrating Formal & Informal PD (5:00-6:30 PM ET, Oct. 2nd): Hundreds of thousands of educators around the country are quietly improving their practice every day through online communities and networks, but receive no acknowledgement or credit for doing so. Maybe worse, what they’re learning, and how they’re learning it, is not influencing, informing, or getting integrated with formal PD. Bringing together formal teacher education and informal social learning is the most important point of emphasis in this year’s CEM, and CEM encourages all education leaders and connected educators to join a panel of leading educators from multiple levels (including Al Byers, Dr. Pam Moran, Eric Sheninger, and more) who are leading the way in bridging this divide, as educators work together this month to craft (more) universal solutions. Learn more and sign up.

5. Personalized Learning (7:00-8:30 PM ET, Oct. 2nd): It was a key theme in CEM 2012, and if anything it’s a bigger topic this year, influencing pedagogy at every level. How close are educators to realizing the dream of personalized, differentiated, passion-based learning for teachers and students, and what still has to happen to make this fully real? What practical steps can educators take to personalize learning for their students today, and how can connected technologies facilitate this? A healthy blend of ed-tech visionaries and creative classroom educators (including Kathy CassidyWill RichardsonDavid Warlick, and Jessie Wooley-Wilson) will discuss these issues. Learn more and sign up.

6. 21st Century Classroom Management (9:00-10:30 PM ET, Oct. 2nd): It’s one of the oldest and most universal elements of quality teaching technique, and it may be in the process of undergoing radical change. What does management mean in an era of 1:1 computing, BYOD, flipped classrooms, technology-driven personalized learning, and other innovations intended to address discipline issues even more directly? What impact are technology, diversity, and other factors having on our ability to facilitate, and what simple steps can educators take today to insure a more positive, productive classroom climate? CEM’s final panel (including Sam ChaudharyJane NelsenJeanne Poduska, and Marsha Ratzel) works with participants late into the night–to kickoff and wrestle with this last, but not least, CEM theme. Learn more and sign up.

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