It’s Not Just Chance

Flickr photo by Wilhei55
Flickr photo by Wilhei55

I am, once again, amazed by the impact of being a connected educator!

Being connected provides many opportunities one would not think possible.

Being connected allows you to form meaningful relationships with others in a way that others might find difficult to understand.

Being connected levels the playing field – there is not a great hierarchy on Twitter. Anyone can talk to anyone. And they do.

Take last summer, for instance. While reading the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek, a group of educators  decided to do a Book Chat on Twitter about the book.  We picked a date and time and tweeted out for everyone. One of us added Simon Sinek’s Twitter name to the list.  The night of the chat came along (9pm PST) and what do you know, we get a tweet from Simon Sinek himself (keep in mind that it was 12am Simon’s time):

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 10.53.07 PM

Now, we did not act right away on his message. I think we were all just stunned that he was offering to chat with us.  Simon sent a couple other messages with a phone number that we could all call that would connect us to  a conference call.  We did and it was great!  We chatted with him for about 30 minutes. What a pleasure. What an honour! What an opportunity!

If you haven’t watched Simon’s TED Talk about How Great Leaders Inspire Action, you really should (he also has many other great talks as well):

Fast Forward to this week.

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about the book Embedded Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliam (@dylanwiliam on Twitter).

This morning I got up and when I opened my email I was surprised by a message from Dylan Wiliam himself. Wow!  Here’s what he wrote:

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 10.33.34 PM

To say I was surprised and honoured does not quite summarize how I felt. If you would like to read this addendum to Wiliam’s Embedded Formative Assessment, Sustaining Formative Assessment With Teacher Learning Communities, you can purchase it online here for .99.

These are just a couple of examples of how being a connected educator can truly make a difference in your work and in your life. There are countless other examples, even more thrilling than these two examples (if you can imagine).

Here’s a brief video by Dylan Wiliam about his book, Embedded Formative Assessment:

Steve Nakatani
Flickr photo by Stevenakatani

The point to this post was not to drop names, but to demonstrate a small part of the impact of being a Connected Educator.

Steven Johnson wrote a book,  Where Good Ideas Come From, in which he stated,

“Chance favours the connected mind.”

His TED Talk entitled Where Do Good Ideas Come From, is powerful and reminds how important being connected really is to our work and our lives.

The following RSA Animate is also a good video to watch and share about Where Good Ideas Come From:

I do believe strongly in his quote, “Chance Favors the Connected Mind” because without being connected, so many opportunities would not have been possible for so many connected educators.

Not only that, but the connected relationships are powerful and can positively impact the way you do your work on a daily basis.

There is power in Social Media.

So, get connected, People!

If you are not yet a Connected Educator, but would like to become one, here are some resources for you:

Ten Tips for Becoming a Connected Educator

Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in the Digital Age by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Why be a Connected Educator Video by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach:

Being a Connected Educator Prezi by Robin McLean


Also, if you have not done so, please take a look at Twitter. Twitter has provided many educators with invaluable 24-7 professional development and has provided many opportunities to connect with amazing and inspiring educators around the world.

Published by Tia M. Dawson

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am an elementary educator who recently returned to the classroom after 12+ years as an elementary school administrator. Lastly, I am passionate about helping others, learning about abuse, helping others in abusive relationships, and helping others understand their worth.

5 thoughts on “It’s Not Just Chance

  1. Morning Tia!

    I totally agree with you about the power of being a connected educator. Being connected has allowed me to participate in many thought provoking discussions that have pushed my practice forward and to create learning experiences for my students that would not have possible otherwise! I have met so many generous, positive and passionate educators all because of Twitter! Thanks for continuing to write so many fabulous and informative blog posts! I love working and learning with you!

    1. Hi Robyn,

      Yes, the power of being connected is really difficult to describe – it is so powerful. If you are not a connected educator, it is really difficult to comprehend completely. You are an amazing educator, Robyn. Your teaching has really evolved in such a way that your students are motivated and engaged in all they do. They are so fortunate to have a teacher who is willing to put themselves out there and try new things. It is scary, at times, but it really is so rewarding at the same time! Well worth the risk.

      I enjoy working with and learning with you as well Robyn! I am so fortunate to be able to call you a friend have you as part of my PLN.


  2. Tia,
    I agree with you. The power of connection is transformative. I am continually delighted and amazed by the learning that is possible through our global networks. Thank you for sharing the resources above.
    As always, I appreciate your perspective and the ideas that you share. You are definitely a key part of my PLN. I look forward to learning with you!

    1. Hi Jennie,

      Thanks for your kind words. I, too, find that I connect with what you say and your perspective on things. It is a goal of mine to try to be more connected next year, as I found that things got too busy this year and I ended up not being able to keep up to date on people’s thoughts.

      I look forward to connecting more!

      Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting. I appreciate your efforts.

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