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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Where Being Connected Got Me

Today was one of those days that I knew would be a blur.  More so than most days.  But it was totally worth it!

I have been a connected educator for only about 3 years (2 on Twitter) so you would definitely call me a newbie.  But I learn fast and I'm so engrossed in learning that it has become an addiction for me. (See prior blogpost http://spartansocialstudies.blogspot.com/2015/04/i-used-to-be-sitting-in-seat-17d.html )  

I happened to mention to a couple people today what my day was like and to a tee, they commented that it was a ridiculous day, life is too short and it isn't worth it.  I, however, didn't look at it that way.  I looked at the opportunities I was afforded today because of me being a connected educator.

My day started off with what was supposed to be a 30 minute presentation that turned into an hour and fifteen minutes (oops) of sharing my #digcit course with local principals, directors and teachers.  Apparently I can talk a lot about things that I am passionate about. :)  Out of this is coming several days to work with my colleagues from the region to help implement a #digcit course.

I had the opportunity to have two of my current AP Gov students give the tour of AP Gov to the students coming in next year.  The first part of the conversation centered around the fact that this class was like no other class they were going to take in high school and that I was more connected to the technology and what is going on in education than most other teachers. (Coming out of the mouths of the students, when I had no prior knowledge of what they were going to say, that was heartwarming to say the least).

Next, I did what was supposed to be a 20 minute interview with a former student for her grad class project that turned into a two hour conversation about how we are meeting the needs of our students in this day and age.

Next, I have been afforded an amazing opportunity and that is to be part of the EdChat radio show, which is a continuation of the conversation from last night's #edchat about how meetings are used and how we could be using them for PD.

After that, I am again graced with the awesome opportunity to help moderate #edtechbridge.  This is one of my favorite chats because I am a teacher and a tech integrator and it is a gathering of both sides of the edtech world and I am always grateful for the collaborative time and the connections made in the chat.

Every single one of these events today is possible because I chose to become a connected educator.  I am invigorated by every one of these conversations and opportunities.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am a better person, educator and community member because of my choice to become a connected educator.

So to get back to my colleagues, it was (is) hectic, life is short and that is why this is TOTALLY worth it!

As an update to this post:
On Saturday, April 25th, I followed 3 edcamps at the same time.  One of them led to a Go To Meeting that allowed me to not only hear a session I was interested in, but also to take part in it!  Additionally, I was mentioned by a keynote speaker as how being connected can lead to learning and networking!

More updates:
I have helped to organize 3 EdCamps, been in contact with so many great vendors!
I am now a Beta tester for 5 edtech companies.
I was in a chat with @arneduncan during #edtechchat and was QT by him!
I was able to contact the author of book I was reading and ask a question.
I was able to do a GHO with a tech company in real time when having a problem.
I found out today (10/28/15) that I was chosen as a Schoology Ambassador for 15-16.  I am beyond excited about the opportunity this presents me with.

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