Co-Founder & CEO
Powerful Learning Practice, LLC
21st Century Collaborative, LLC
The Connected Educator: Learning
and Leading in a Digital Age
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• THE CONNECTED EDUCATOR
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Back Channel Chat
All of October
Free professional learning
Free for you– free for your staff
• Robust matchmaking tool for
learning & innovation
• Uses tags to make it easy to
create rich, action-oriented
• Uses maps to make it easy
and fun to find others
• Helps educators find
collaborators, get help, or just
District and State Support
• District toolkit, Part 1
– Support for participation in CEM
– Examples of district at different
levels, with videos and links
– Links to tools and resources at each
• District toolkit, Part 2
– Support for integrating informal and
formal professional learning year
– Readiness assessment, planning,
implementation, and evaluation
1. Introduce yourselves and what
2. What have you been thinking
about lately in terms of change
in your school/district? What
is becoming clearer?
3. If you could change one thing
to you since we
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 teachers, your leadership or your
students to leverage- collective
Are you Ready for Learning and
Leading in the 21st Century?
It isn’t just ―coming‖… it has arrived! And schools
who aren’t redefining themselves, risk becoming
irrelevant in preparing students for the future.
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
devices and the
people and things we
reach through them.‖
~ Sherry Turkle
Shifting From Shifting To
Learning at school Learning anytime/anywhere
Teaching as a private event Teaching as a public
Learning as passive
Learning in a participatory
Learning as individuals
Learning in a networked
In Phillip Schlechty's, Leading for Learning: How to
Transform Schools into Learning Organizations he
makes a case
for transformation of schools.
Reform- installing innovations that will work within
the context of the existing culture and structure of
schools. It usually means changing procedures,
processes, and technologies with the intent of
improving performance of existing operation
It involves repositioning and
reorienting action by putting an
organization into a new business
or adopting radically different
means of doing the work
Transformation includes altering the
beliefs, values, meanings- the culture- in which programs are
embedded, as well as changing the current system of
rules, roles, and relationship- social structure-so that the
innovations needed will be supported.
Transformation- is intended to make it possible to do
things that have never been done by the organization
undergoing the transformation.
So as you develop your vision for learning in
the 21st Century how do you see it- should
you be a reformer or
a transformer and why?
Make a case for using
one or the other as a
1. The world is changing.
2. The context has shifted
3. We have amazing tools that enable us to
connected, collaborate and create.
4. Schools are remaining just about the
We are in the midst of seeing education transform
from a book-based, linear system with a focus on
individual achievement to an web-based, divergent
system with a focus on community building.
We have to change school
-- change behaviors
-- experience success
-- creates faith
-- creates hope
-- changes beliefs, values, dispositions
04 11:03 AM
Our teacher fell
Which takes LEADERSHIP
(this is where you come in)
• Believe in standardization
of the process
• Fiercely protects the
• Manipulate resources to
get the job done
• Focus is on tools and
• Expect compliance and
• Safe- Tried- True
• Create change as a way of
solving problems and
• Ask what if– builds on
strengths and what people
know and can do
• Focus on what can happen if
people know what to do with
tools for self directed learning
• Build thick leadership
density in others.
• Take risks and expect
What do you wonder…
About leading a connected school?
What is connected learning?
How do you define the terms?
Let’s build a common language.
Free range learners
Free-range learners choose
how and what they learn.
Self-service is less
expensive and more timely
than the alternative.
Informal learning has no
need for the busywork,
chrome, and bureaucracy
that accompany our
learning experiences or our
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.
What are connected learners?
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 classrooms, schools, and districts.
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”
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 Education
professor at Duke
Connected sometimes trumps F2F with
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 explored.
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.
The Secret to Change to a Connected School
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
• We all have basic needs-
including the need to belong
• Collaborative Inquiry
produces a higher level of
cognition and more joy
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
• THE CONNECTED EDUCATOR
Meet the new model for professional
Connected Learning Communities
In CLCs educators have several ways to
connect and collaborate:
• F2F learning communities (PLCs)
• Personal learning networks (PLNs)
• Communities of practice or inquiry
• 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 Educators organize
Purpose To collaborate in
subject area or
grade leverl teams
For individuals to
gather info for
construction and to
bring back info to
interests and goals.
Individual, face to
face, and online
Collective, face to
face, or online
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, 24, 249-305.
Passive, active, and reflective knowledge
building in local (PLC), global (CoP) and
contextual (PLN) learning spaces.
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
• Connected Communities (Tribes) are forming everywhere
• You have the tools you need at your fingertips
• Your faculty, your students, your school community– need/want
• We are all leaders…
• You were called to lead..Not manage
• Inside, Outside, Upside Down
Leverage the Tribe
Status Quo-- Things are working well most of the time.
Something happens that creates a sense of urgency to change.
A desire to learn something new. You are presented with
evidence that makes you feel something. It touches you in some
- a disturbing look at a problem
- a hopeful glimpse of the future
- a sobering self reflection
One of three things happen:
1. Complacency - You are moved but fail act - telling yourself or
others, "Everything is fine."
2. False urgency - You are busy, working-working-working and
never reflect or move yourself to action. You talk and it scratches the
3. True urgency or passion- You are clearly focused on making real
progress every single day. Urgent behavior is driven by a belief that
the world contains great opportunities and great hazards. It inspires a
gut-level determination to move, and win, now.
You see it. You feel it and you are moved to change or act or learn
• Letting go of control
• Willing to unlearn & relearn
• Mindset of discovery
• Reversed mentorship
• Co-learning and co-creating
• Messy, ground zero, risk taking
Be a learner first—leader second
• It's all about asking hard questions and then listening deeply
• A connected learner isn’t afraid to admit that they don’t know the answer
to a question or problem, and willingly invite others into a dialogue to
explore, discuss, debate, or generate more questions. (@barb_english)
• Asking our questions out in the open in connected ways @lisaneale
• I believe that being a connected learner leads to more questions than
answers and that is good. I also believe that connected learners have to
learn to take risks - exposing your learning and thoughts can be challenging
• Lurkers become learners. Learners become contributors. @sjhayes8
Wonder is both a
sense of awe and
It also helps to ask 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 our progress?
Or how will I know if we are learning?
networks work is one of
the most important
literacies of the 21st
- Howard Rheingold
How do you define
and developing a
network. It is a theory
for the digital age
drawing upon chaos,
and self organized
Photo credit: Cogdogblog
FOCUS: Individual, Connecting to Learning Objects, Resources
and People – Social Network Driven
― 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 practices.
Connected Learning Communities provide the personal
learning environment (PLE) to do the nudging
"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." ~ Seth Godin.
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.