In our globally connected world, the challenge for us as educators is to prepare our learners to take advantage of all that global connectivity offers and encourage leaners to question, investigate, and act as global citizens. At the same time, the globally connected world offers educators a wide range of professional learning opportunities to learn about new technologies, new learning and teaching approaches, emerging pedagogies, and the chance to build connections with other educators. Last month (October) provided a good example of this.
Throughout October, educators in New Zealand and beyond were able to prepare themselves to support globally connected learners by participating in Connected Educator Aotearoa New Zealand (CENZ), a global professional learning event. The CENZ goals include:
- Helping more schools, kura, and ECE services promote and integrate online social learning into their formal professional development.
- Stimulating and supporting collaboration and innovation in professional development.
- Getting more educators connected (to each other).
- Deepening and sustaining the learning of those already connected.
But the professional learning clearly doesn’t begin and end with the October event. There are many ongoing opportunities for educators.
Starter Kete: the Starter kete takes a 31-days approach, providing background information, links, and activities to assist you to get more connected every day. This can be for your own professional learning or for school leaders to support their staff to embed new practices in their teaching and learning.
The Toolkit for staff: a toolkit full of resources and materials designed to help spread the word and get staff involved during 2015 and beyond. While the focus is on October’s events, there is information about how schools, kura, ECE services, and clusters/networks can launch their own events complete with examples and ready-to-use tools to assist you in finding other educators interested in collaborating.
Online communities: Collaborating through discussion in professional online communities sits at the heart of many educators’ personal learning networks. New Zealand online communities offer workshops, webinars, and social networking conversations. Examples of online communities include:
There are also Twitter chat communities such as: #edchatnz, #leaderchatnz, #engchatnz, #scichatnz, and #KIDspeakNZ.
Find, join, and participate in a community that suits your needs, locally, and globally. Check out the Global Community Directory, the Connected Educators global list. Browse, explore, and add your own event.
Video record: lastly, there is a growing record of global connectedness being posted on CORE’s EDtalks website and Youtube channels, including a series of live-streamed seminars, and interviews with people who participated in CENZ activity at ULearn15.
Teachers are challenged to engage, enable, and empower learners in a technology-rich and fast-changing environment. They strive to provide appropriate learning opportunities that consider learning dispositions, essential learning areas, and key competencies.
Collaborating with and learning from other educators in New Zealand and around the world can enable us to engage with rich discussions and varied perspectives. Connecting globally can open windows on new pedagogies and practices, and ways that new technologies can assist us to engage in new ways with learners’ expectations and needs.
There are a plethora of opportunities for both students and teachers in being part of a global village of learning, information-sharing, and creation opportunities.
CORE’s Ten Trends:
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