Five key practices will help us form a community where your connectedness with others can contribute to the success of your profession:
- Gain new knowledge
- Exchange ideas
- Collaborate with peers
- Form relationships
- Improve practices
We will focus on two key practices in each blog post.
Gain new knowledge – A monumental transition on how we access information has taken place: from print encyclopedias, journals, and libraries to wikis, ebooks, and online communities. We are inundated with information 24-7 coming at us so fast that it causes eye strain and carpel tunnel. Amazon.com, for example, delivers quick reviews on books, music, and movies and tells you what else you might like (with surprising accuracy). Fandango.com provides up to the minute information about upcoming movie releases, trailers, movie times, box office hits, ticket purchases and user comments. The newspaper that used to give us this information now only seems useful for liner in a kitty litter box. Online communities are becoming a place where we can instantly find information on the topics we care about. Teachers Engage is your place to join discussions about books you read, training tips you would like to share, and receive information on creating a 21st century learning environment from the people who know best—educators like you!
Exchange ideas – A friend recently shared a social networking site called Ning.com. I was amazed to find a multitude of community sites where people are connecting to others all around the world about anything and everything. A few of the gems I found:
- Want to learn a foreign language?
- Enthralled with American Idol David Archuleta?
- Love adorable puppies creating all kinds of mischief? DoodleKisses.ning.com (the biggest and most active social network for Labradoodle and Goldendoodle dog & puppy lovers—who knew?)
- Want to connect with your 9th grade boyfriend? Find your high school community site. It is sure to exist.
Well, you probably won’t find that boyfriend on this site, but you will find other educators that care about the same things you do.
Where do you turn to gain new knowledge and exchange ideas?