Connected Educators: Fostering collaboration and innovation in Digital Age

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The Education and its delivery both have been changing at a drastic pace. This is being observed that the time has arrived to reject the incremental changes to transform the education rather it’s the need of radical transformation to fully equip the students to be future ready. The change in professional education has been quick, enabled by the many tools that we now use for collaboration. Technology has provided us with the ability to communicate, curate, collaborate, and (most importantly) create with any number of educators, globally, at any time, and at very little cost. One would think educators would be celebrating in the streets at the good fortune of advancing their own learning while helping their profession evolve.

The connected Educator can be about the need for teachers in this digital age to fully exploit the transformative potential of emerging technologies on behalf of their students and their own professional growth. In the professional development model, teachers, and school leaders work together in local and global networks connecting, collaborating, harvesting and nurturing the knowledge they apply in schools and classrooms.

Through their participation in Connected Learning Communities, educators develop shared visions and beliefs around common principles. They brainstorm and talk about creative ways to meet the needs of the 21st-century learner with fellow professionals, whose ideas and geography may be very different than their own. Together in these diverse spaces they co-construct strategies that can motivate schools to transform learning environments, thus assuring their own sustainability by becoming highly relevant in students’ lives.

The main constituents of “The Connected Educator”

  • Learner First , Educator Second
  • The Connected Learning Communities
  • Professional development
  • Becoming a connected learner.

How does it work?

Collaboration has always been a key component of education both from a teaching standpoint and as a learning method. In the past, collaboration was hindered by space and time. In order to collaborate, people needed to be face to face in the same location.

In an evolved world, once the platform becomes available for the educators they start their contribution towards the ”Collaboration” in some of the below ways

  • Educators form groups with their common agenda and interests.
  • Schools /Institutes organize the staffs by grade levels or subject areas so that educators could collaborate.
  • Different type of collaboration such as idea sharing, learning or applying new technologies or even smaller and unique things happening in local schools/institutions go global with the collaboration platform in-turn equipping educators to follow the best practices.
  • Beyond the Individual institutions, locations the professional organizations are formed.
  • With the help of this collaboration, the local institutions are able to acquire the global techniques for self-development and enrich

“These Connected” organizations/schools/Institutes conduct conferences, bringing together educators from various locations. Educators would ideally return to their schools to further collaborate with colleagues in sharing what they’d learned from that collaborative conference. With the help of technology evolution, the collaboration has become very easy with enablers of many platforms, giving the opportunity to get connected with the same interests across the education society. Location and accessibility being not a challenge the collaboration becomes easy.

National organizations followed that lead to offer a greater scale. This all started to happen Globally and its footprints can be seen in “Local Society” also. There have been many prominent universities with collaboration with foreign universities, Institutions for global courses and academics.

So all in all for any and every kind of collaboration the main Stakeholders need to be on a single or easily accessible available platforms so that they stay Connected and work towards the specific goals for Education.

About the Author:

Prabhash Gaur, Consultant- Open & Distance Learning and iON Solutions. 10 Years of Industry Experience- Technology & Consulting.

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