Being connected is a must for everyone! As a connected educator I can not imagine my life without the support, inspiration, colleagueship and critical thinking that my PLN has given me over the years. We all have stories of how we have become connected as well as the many talented people who have changed our lives because of our connection. Today I posted on Twitter: “Twitter is giving me opportunities for rich conversations w/others. #grateful that I can be enriched here through the inspiration of many.” I feel strongly about this. As an educator I am continually modeling not only how I use digital tools, but why.
In a yearly author study I explore with my Kindergarten students we enjoy the repetition, rhyme and creative characters and dialogue in Dr. Seuss’s stories. This author study encourages my students to be themselves and share their story. Through our own ability to tell a story, we connect and engage with others. Just as I explore the gift of sharing and telling a story alongside my students, I also enjoy sharing my own.
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Helen Knauf via a conversation on Skype. She contacted me because she came across a blog post I had written in regards to using Kidblog and social media with young children for teach.com. We connected on Skype and Twitter. She wrote an article that was published in Germany about our conversation and what she had learned from me, my story, my experience. Here is our interview.
Who is she?
Helen is a professor in the field of early childhood education at the University of Applied Sciences Fulda. She is a researcher with an exploratory focus on social networks and digital media and parent participation. She is a mother of three, plus a teacher of early childhood education. I am so looking forward to this connection.
Helen and I have remained in touch over the past couple of years on Twitter, Google+, email and Facebook. This fall we will have an opportunity to meet face to face for the 1st time! Helen is coming to the USA! She wrote a grant and it was funded! She will be spending time alongside me, my students and my families learning about how I begin to build, explore and discover connectivity alongside my students and their families. This opportunity is possible because of a blog post I wrote for teach.com and that Helen, and other people are reading. This is where I am reminded about the purposefulness and power of an authentic audience. A global collaboration develops because I choose to be transparent, share my voice and use digital tools to connect with others, who like me, want to make a difference.
Connectivity means many things. What is most important to me about connectivity is how it can bring people, countries and learning together. Think about your own classroom, opportunities to share a story that is important to you. Share it and be open to engage and further your conversation globally. This is where we begin to model how we can collaborate and work as a global team to share our own learning and enrich each others lives.
So looking forward to meeting Helen and learning from her. I am most #grateful. Think about a way you can inspire, be inspired by someone. What will you do? What will your impact be?