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The ABC’s of becoming a Globally Connected Educator

I am a globally connected educator – but what does that mean?
Here is my ABC list of how to become a globally connected educator and why this is important in the digital age that we educate in:

A – Author – become an author! Don’t just consume information but creating it and sharing your experiences out to the global world. A great place to start is by blogging.
B – Break down the Four Walls – by breaking down the four walls, you open up learning opportunities for yourself and your students. Learning can happen anywhere, anytime and anyhow so get online and seek out opportunities.
C – Collaborate – STOP, collaborate and listen! Get involved in any online (and in person) collaboration opportunities. Get Connected on Twitter and collaborate via a Twitter Chat.
D – Diversity – We live in a complex and diverse world. To be truly connected, you need to embrace diversity and break down barriers. Be the role model your students and colleagues need. There should be no barriers to learning!
E – Engage – Engage in conversations with like-minded people online and in person in your school and at conferences. By engaging in conversations you spark a learning experience that is authentic and purposeful. Learning can happen anywhere and at any time if you are willing to engage.
F – Friends – Being globally connected, I have met people online that I am honored to call my friends. My colleagues and friends online help me learn. I feel comfortable asking them anything.
G – Goal – have small and achievable goals in mind. An example might be, grow my PLN to 100 people by the end of the week or I will partake in two Twitter chats this week or I will integrate one global collaborative projects into my classroom this month.
H – Hunting with the Pack – When you start your journey, you are a lone wolf. Your intention is to be hunting with the pack.
I – Interests – follow your interests and connect with like-minded people.
J – Just do it – there are no excuses or barriers that can stop you. Get connected or just ask for help!
K – Keep ahead of the game – Stay ahead of the learners in your class at school by being a constant learner. It is critical to stay ahead of your students by following trends and reading articles and reviews by respected educators.
L – Listen – Listen first, speak second. Give others the chance to share before you express yourself. It is OK to sit back in situations and just take it in. If you have nothing to say you do not have to say anything. Just learn!
M – Mystery Skype – Learn what a Mystery Skype is and get involved in one! It is the best way to connect your class to the world. Click here to learn more.
N –  Notes – taking notes on your learning journey is important. This could be in your head, on paper or in the form of a blog. Whatever way works for you, be sure to keep a record of your learning journey.
O – Open – Be open to learning something new. If you have a closed or fixed mindset, you will never grow. The first step to developing yourself into a globally connected educator is having the willingness to learn and grow.
P – PLN – Developing a Professional/Personal Learning Environment (PLN) is what it is all about. It is not about quantity it is about quality. Develop a positive working relationship with like-minded educators all over the globe!
Q – Quick to connect with others  – The ability to connect and engage is easy and fast. Don’t hesitate, often it is simply the click of the follow button.
R – Risk Taker – Taking risks and being willing to make mistakes is part of the job. We expect this of our kids, so don’t be afraid of this yourself. Step outside your comfort zone and make it happen!
S – Social Media – I can’t say it enough! Get connected. Here is a how-to guide to create a perfect educational Twitter account.
T – Twitter – get connected, get involved and develop a PLN that inspires and encourages you to try new things and strive to be the best you can be. Click here for 100 must-follow educators to start your PLN in style.
U – Underutilized resource – Being connected to social media for learning is, in my opinion, the single largest underutilized resource that is available to educators for FREE!
V – Vast Variety of content – There is content out there for everyone and being connected allows you to tap into just about any area and any expert anytime and did I mention it is FREE?
W – What are you waiting for? Besides the X, Y, Z for inspiration, being connected is easier than ever and is literally a click away!
X – X Marks the Spot and that spot is the curriculum. In order to effectively integrate anything into the classroom, teachers need to see it in their curriculum plans. In order for it to be successful, you need to know your WHY. Why is this impacting learning?
Y – Yourself – Be yourself online. You don’t need to be fake to be effective. People want you to be genuine and real!
Z – Zest – Have zest! Be enthusiastic and energetic. Share your world and get connected!
Being a globally connected educator allows you to open up possibilities to students, it keeps our learning fresh, current and it keeps us engaged. Our duty as educators is to inspire, engage and help students learn.

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The author

Craig is a passionate Head of Educational Technology at a large International School in Singapore. He is a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. Craig loves to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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