As part of the ongoing series around innovative behaviors (found in the book Innovation As Usual), this time I want to focus on connecting. I remember the first conference I ever went to as an educator. That experience opened my eyes to the bigger world of education. Even though it was a small local conference, I had the opportunity to connect with others around education and got a glimpse into what was going on in other schools. It was fascinating, invigorating, and, at the same time, extremely frustrating. This was before the internet was really a thing; before I knew about ISTE and before I had really spent much time in the classroom. Going back to my school, I missed the hallway conversations and the big thinking about what I could do for students. In the book, the authors day that “insight comes from the outside”. Ideas are pieced together by what we already know and combining those things in new ways. That’s where the connection comes in. The more people that we have, the more common knowledge we share and the more we connect, the more we can incubate those ideas into something great.
In my work, this is where ISTE comes in. Through the annual conference, the PLN’s and through the ISTE communities, I can connect my ideas with others and have that greater collective knowledge. There are so many places available to connect with people online. Be that Twitter, Facebook, a Google+ Community or just a listserv that you subscribe to. Connecting is one of the many things that makes us strong as educators and allows us to incubate new ideas and gain more of that common knowledge.
Where do you connect? What are your go to places where you can learn about and identify new practices and tools?
Cross posted to the ISTE Innovative Learning Community