Co-Founder & CEO
Powerful Learning Practice, LLC
The Connected Educator: Learning
and Leading in a Digital Age
Connected Educator Month
ISTE Executive Board
Follow me on Twitter @snbeach
• THE CONNECTED EDUCATOR
Get close to someone
Back Channel Chat
Mantra for today’s keynote…
We are stronger together than apart.
None of us is as smart, creative, good or
interesting as all of us.
• THE CONNECTED EDUCATOR
Things do not change; we change.
—Henry David Thoreau
What are you doing to contextualize and
mobilize what you are learning?
How will you leverage, how will you enable
your colleagues, your students or your own
children to leverage- collective
Learner First- Teacher
Talk about (in 2 min or less)
the most recent or compelling
use of technology you have
seen or used in your work with
children or in your own
Emerson and Thoreau
reunited would ask-
become clearer to
you since we last
6 Trends for the digital age
Source: David Wiley: Openness and the disaggregated
future of higher education
“We are tethered to our
always on/ always on us
communication devices and
the people and things we
reach through them.”
~ Sherry Turkle
By the year 2011 80% of all Fortune 500
companies will be using immersive worlds –
Gartner Vice President Jackie Fenn
Credit: Hugh MacLeod, gapingvoid
Tech is Changing the World
Photo credit: http://smeitexpo2011.blogspot.com/2010/11/era-of-technological-revolution.html
• The Internet of Things is a technological system, a
suite of products and services that will make life a
bit more comfortable.
• It is more than the Internet we know — it goes
beyond empowering people to communicate and
• The Internet of Things can connect any product or
service. And it automatically links what might
emerge as a result of this collaboration — interact
even without human intervention.
Internet of Things & Services
Are you Ready for Learning and
Leading in the 21st Century?
It isn’t just “coming”… it has arrived! And
professionals who aren’t redefining themselves, risk
becoming irrelevant in preparing children for the
future that awaits them. (Reflect)
“In a time of
drastic change it
is the learners
who inherit the
equipped to live
in a world that
Free range learners
Almost from birth
have free range
access to knowledge.
The potential exists
for all kiddos to
learn what they want
– when they want.
It is estimated that
1.5 exabytes of unique new information
will be generated
worldwide this year.
That’s estimated to be
more than in the
previous 5,000 years.
For college students starting a four-year
education degree, this means that . . .
half of what they learn in their first year of
study will be outdated by their third year of
Where does that put you in your field?
We have to change school/learning
-- change behaviors
-- experience success
-- creates faith
-- creates hope
-- changes beliefs, values, dispositions
04 11:03 AM
Our teacher fell
Play — the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-
Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of
improvisation and discovery
Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world
Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
Multitasking — the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to
Distributed Cognition — the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that
expand mental capacities
Collective Intelligence — the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with
others toward a common goal
Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different
Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of stories and
information across multiple modalities
Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and
respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.
Shifts focus of literacy
Shifts focus of literacy
The computer connects the student to the rest of the world
Learning occurs through connections with other learners
Learning is based on conversation and interaction
Connected Learner Scale
Share (Publish & Participate) –
Connect (Comment and
Remixing (building on the
ideas of others) –
Collaborate (Co-construction of
knowledge and meaning) –
Collective Action (Social Justice, Activism, Service
needs to change.
We know this.
Do it Yourself PD
A revolution in technology
has transformed the way we
can find each other, interact,
and collaborate to create
knowledge as connected
Learners who collaborate online; learners who use
social media to connect with others around the globe;
learners who engage in conversations in safe online
spaces; learners who bring what they learn online
back to their organizations, schools, and families.
They are DIY, self-directed learners.
What are connected learners?
• Letting go of control
• Willing to unlearn & relearn
• Mindset of discovery
• Reversed mentorship
• Co-learning and co-creating
• Messy, ground zero, risk taking
Maybe a first change
step could be developing
your own Manifesto
around changed practice
in your learning
What strong assertions
do you or others who
serve with you, have
(believe) about the
All of October
Free professional learning
Free for you– free for your staff
Wonder is both a sense of awe and
capacity for contemplation.
Wonderment begins with curiosity
but then goes deeper beyond the
surface to a place of possibility. A
place we look for patterns and
testing of ideas we had closed to our
more reasonable mind.
Wonder is to leave aside our taken-for-granted assumptions, peel away
our biases, and to willing explore aspects and angles we wouldn't have
What do you wonder?
•About connected learning and
how it will help you grow as an
•How do you define the terms?
•Let’s build a common language
in our back channel chat.
It also helps to ask yourself questions like:
1) Why am I planning to do this?
2) How will I initiate this change?
3) Who can I connect with online in my network that can help me?
4) How will I measure my progress? Or how will I know if I am learning?
5) Am I using various social media tools for different purposes?
Networks are very “me”
purpose pick and choose
who is in your network
to learn from and why.
Learning with networks
happens through BOTH
social and cognitive
FOCUS: Individuals, Connecting to Learning Objects, Resources
and People – Social Network Driven
Connected Learning has the potential to
takes us deeper
“The interconnected, interactive nature of
social learning exponentially amplifies the
rate at which critical content can be shared
and questions can be answered.”
From: Collaborative Learning for the
Digital Age in The Chronicle of Higher
Cathy Davidson, professor at Duke
Connected sometimes trumps F2F
with deep learning…
Via Marc Andreessen’s blog, the findings of researchers as related by
Frans Johansson in The Medici Effect:
Diversity of thought
Allows for Greater Innovation
Frans Johansson explores one simple yet profound insight about
innovation: in the intersection of different fields, disciplines and
cultures, there’s an abundance of extraordinary new ideas to be
“Twitter and blogs ...
contribute an entirely
new dimension of
what it means to be a
part of a tribe. The
real power of tribes
has nothing to do with
the Internet and
everything to do with
“A tribe needs a
shared interest and a
way to communicate.”
Leveraging Tribe as a means to
Photo Credit: http://newdriven.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/how-to-leverage-the-power-of-the-tribe/
• Humans have a natural
propensity to tribe.
• Social learning is a part
of our DNA
• We all have basic
needs- including the
need to belong
• Collaborative Inquiry
produces a higher level
Developing Your Tribe
A group of people connected to one another,
connected to a leader, connected to an idea
Need two things:
1) Shared interest (mission)
2) A way to communicate
According to Clay Shirky, there are four steps on a ladder to
mastering the connected world: sharing, cooperating,
collaborating, and collective action.
From his book- “Here Comes Everybody”
Personal Learning Networks (building of your tribe)
Are you mobilizing and contextualizing what you are
learning? Can I find you and learn from you?
It’s out of networks that community falls. ~ Nancy
is community, really?
Very “we” oriented. We do not choose who is part of our
community. We make a commitment to grow together and
improve at the art and science of teaching and learning. It is
more collegial than congenial. It is more collaborative than
A Community of Practice is a network of individuals with common
problems or interests who get together to explore ways of working,
identify common solutions, and share good practice and ideas.
• puts you in touch with like-minded colleagues and peers
• allows you to share your experiences and learn from others
• allows you to collaborate and achieve common outcomes
• accelerates your learning
• Improves student achievement
• validates and builds on existing knowledge and good practice
• provides the opportunity to innovate and create new ideas
Dedication to the
Shares and contributes
Engages in strength-based approaches
and appreciative inquiry
Willingness to leaving one's comfort
zone to experiment with new strategies
and taking on new responsibilities
Dispositions and Values
Commitment to understanding
asking good questions
Explores ideas and concepts,
rethinking, revising, and
continuously repacks and unpacks,
urges to finish prematurely
Co-learner, Co-leader, Co-creator
Self directed, open minded
Commits to deep reflection
Transparent in thinking
Values and engages in a culture of
• THE CONNECTED EDUCATOR
1. Local community: Purposeful, face-to-face
connections among members of a committed group—
a professional learning community (PLC)
2. Global network: Individually chosen, online
connections with a diverse collection of people and
resources from around the world—a personal learning
3. Bounded community: A committed, collective, and
often global group of individuals who have
overlapping interests and recognize a need for
connections that go deeper than the personal learning
network or the professional learning community can
provide—a community of practice or inquiry (CoP)
• THE CONNECTED EDUCATOR
Method Often organized for
Do-it-yourself Professionals organize
Purpose To collaborate in a
learning area or in
teams around tasks
For individuals to
gather info for
construction and to
bring back info to the
shared interests and
Individual, face to
face, and online
Collective, face to
face, or online
Focus Student achievement Personal growth Systemic
Community is the New Professional Development
Cochran-Smith and Lytle (1999a) describe three ways of knowing and constructing
Knowledge for Practice is often reflected in traditional PD efforts when a trainer shares
with teachers information produced by educational researchers. This knowledge presumes
a commonly accepted degree of correctness about what is being shared. The learner is
typically passive in this kind of "sit and get" experience. This kind of knowledge is
difficult for teachers to transfer to classrooms without support and follow through. After a
workshop, much of what was useful gets lost in the daily grind, pressures and isolation of
Knowledge in Practice recognizes the importance of teacher experience and practical
knowledge in improving classroom practice. As a teacher tests out new strategies and
assimilates them into teaching routines they construct knowledge in practice. They learn
by doing. This knowledge is strengthened when teachers reflect and share with one
another lessons learned during specific teaching sessions and describe the tacit
knowledge embedded in their experiences.
Community is the New Professional Development
Knowledge of Practice believes that systematic inquiry where teachers create
knowledge as they focus on raising questions about and systematically studying
their own classroom teaching practices collaboratively, allows educators to
construct knowledge of practice in ways that move beyond the basics of
classroom practice to a more systemic view of learning.
I believe that by attending to the development of knowledge for, in and of
practice, we can enhance professional growth that leads to real change.
Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S.L. (1999a). Relationships of knowledge and
practice: Teaching learning in communities. Review of Research in Education,
Passive, active, and reflective knowledge
building in local (PLC), global (CoP) and
contextual (PLN) learning spaces.
“ Do you know what who you know knows?” H. Rheingold
Critical friends: Form a professional learning team who come together
voluntarily at least once a month. Have members commit to improving
their practice through collaborative learning. Use protocols to examine
each other’s teaching or leadership activities and share both warm and
cool feedback in respectful ways.
Curriculum review or mapping groups: Meet regularly in teams to
review what team members are teaching, to reflect together on the
impact of assumptions that underlie the curriculum, and to make
collaborative decisions. Teams often study lesson plans together.
Action research groups: Do active, collaborative research focused
on improvement around a possibility or problem in a classroom,
school, district, or state.
Book study groups: Collaboratively read and discuss a book in an
Case studies: Analyze in detail specific situations and their
relationship to current thinking and pedagogy. Write, discuss, and
reflect on cases using a 21st century lens to produce collaborative
reflection and improve practice.
Instructional rounds: Adopt a process through which
educators develop a shared practice of observing each other,
analyzing learning and teaching from a research perspective,
and sharing expertise.
Connected coaching: Assign a connected coach to
individuals on teams who will discuss and share teaching
practices in order to promote collegiality and help educators
think about how the new literacies inform current teaching
"Imagine an organization with an employee who can accurately see the truth,
understand the situation, and understand the potential outcomes of various
decisions. And now imagine that this person is able to make something happen." ~
Connected learners are more
effective change agents
Real Question is this:
Are we willing to change- to risk change- to meet the
needs of the precious folks we serve?
Can you accept that Change (with a “big” C) is
sometimes a messy process and that learning new things
together is going to require some tolerance for ambiguity.
We have a choice: A choice to be powerful or pitiful.
A choice to allow ourselves to become victims of all
that is wrong in education- or to become advocates on
behalf of children.
Activists who set their own course. Who resist the
urge to quit prematurely. DIY change agents who
choose to be powerful learners on behalf
of the children they serve.