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Just Reach Out

February 25, 2014

Well, it happened again…I fell behind in my challenge to write one post each week this year. I guess that happens when you have to cancel two overseas trips and try and rebook 46 students and 7 staff members somewhere else. But, that’s for another post.

Connection is Just a Phone Line

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about being a connected teacher. I like to think of myself as a connected educator. I have developed a digital PLN that I turn to for advice or to bounce ideas off. I pondered this idea and wondered if it is enough just to connect with others in the digital world. My friend, D’Arcy Norman suggested that connection is just a phone line unless you actually do something with it. It is the “something” that has really stuck with me.

Reach Out and Touch Someone

I often discuss the process of learning with my students. I tell them I believe it is the process of being given a problem, or identifying one; making connections with material, experts, classmates, etc.; creating a solution; sharing the solution; and reflecting on the process. To me, one of the most significant pieces of this puzzle is the connection piece. Many of my students have connected with professors, politicians, other students, and business leaders in pursuit of an answer to questions. I think this is an important skill for my students and an opportunity for them to go deeper into the material we study. In addition, by making connections, they are developing their own SLN (Student Learning Network). So, being connected should not stop when you follow someone or they follow you. Reach out, go beyond the simple follow. Ask questions. Challenge thinking. Make sure that your connection is much more than just a phone line.

Have a great day everyone,


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