Educators have recognized the power of collaboration and are making special efforts to connect with one another around the world. Connecting with expert educators and decision makers helps educators develop professionally. Educators alone gather information
by doing individual researches but what results in greater achievements is collaboration between such educators.
Connected Educator Month is one of the best examples to express how interested educators are nowadays towards collaboration. 170+ education organizations, companies and communities have been involved in CEM 12 conducted by US Department of Education. With the huge success of CEM 12, US Dept. of Education has decided to conduct its next annual event and it’s now going on greatly. You may see the list of events in an infographic created by EdTechReview India. Apart from that, there are many other ways educators frequently use to connect and collaborate with one another. Let’s learn about them.
There is no doubt that Twitter is the most powerful social networking tool for collaboration. It’s the top mostsite educators are using to connect with one another. Teachers use Twitter to follow leading educationalists and professors to learn from their researches and ideas, communicate with other educators to bring best educational practices and also develop professionally by learning numerous teaching techniques.
There are numerous ways in which we can use Twitter in education; you may read our following articles to have more information about them:
Here, I’d like to give you brief info about how educators connect and collaborate with one another using twitter hashtags:
Currently there are approximately 4000 Tweets shared per second. It’s a tough task to figure out information related to our particular need. Introduction of hashtags has helped in sorting out the information on Twitter. The purpose of a hashtag is that when you tweet and want your message to be part of a larger conversation beyond your followers, you need to add a relevant hashtag. A particular hashtag collects all the tweets that are tagged with it and displays them whenever we click on it. Teachers use numerous hashtags for numerous purposes.
For example, #mathchat is used by the educators who are interested in Math subject. #mathchat is hosted Fridays from 1 to 2 p.m. GMT.
Ph.D. students come together for a weekly discussion on #PhDchat.
#CPCHAT is used by educational leaders.
This is one of the most efficient ways through which educators communicate and collaborate with one another. You may read the following article to know the list of hashtags educators use to connect with one another.
Skype, Google+ Hangouts & WizIQ:
Twitter chats are effective but sometimes educators need to have face-to-face conversations for personalized learning and effective interaction. For such interactions, educators opt to use Skype, Google+ hangouts or WizIQ platforms.
“Skype brings the world into the classroom. It's been useful in so many ways. Works well with an oral language program - authentic questions being asked to an authentic audience. It sparks curiosity and makes connections more real”, Karen Lirenman, a grade one educator.
Go to Skype’s educational section, choose a subject from the list of categories and get access to relevant results. You can find Skype lessons, teachers, guest speakers and collections. Choose other educators’ classrooms according to your search results and connect with them to have an interaction.
Google+ has everything that Skype has for free and more. You can text chat, video chat, share your screen, and with one of the coolest integrations ever, you can watch demonstrations or experiments on YouTube with the educators that you’re hanging out with.
“Skype & Google hangouts are often used at Edcamps to connect more educators.”- Tom Whitby , a professor and an edtech enthusiast.
“Skype Education and Google are some great ways to find other educators to connect with also Edcamps are a great place too.”- Bill Krakower , Teacher in NJ and Ed Tech Presenter.
A lot of the tools in Skype Premium/Business and Google+ Hangouts with extras are expanded upon in WizIQ. And the best thing about WizIQ is that it focuses 100 % on education.
Google+ Communities and LinkedIn Groups:
LinkedIn Groups are to interact with other professionals. On LinkedIn, Educators can find numerous useful groups relevant to their fields, stream, areas of interest, subjects in which they are efficient and those topics they are working on. Joining in groups helps educators connect with people even if they’re not their network. Teachers can interact with those people, exchange knowledge, ask questions and connect with others in the same field. You can participate in discussion forums or post your own articles, researches or projects that can help build your professional learning network. EduBloggers , Education Community Mangers Network, Technology in Education and many more groups offer you a great platform to interact with other educators.
Similar to LinkedIn groups, there are also numerous useful Google+ communities. You may read our previous article to know the list of best Google + communities through which educators frequently connect with one another.
The above mentioned are a few of the best ways educators use to connect and collaborate with other educators. We’d like to extract more strategies like these. Please share with us your ways of connecting and collaborating with other educators, the best hashtags you frequently use to have conversations and communities you consider best in LinkedIn as well as Google+. The comment box awaits you.