Are you curious about creating a connected classroom?
Looking for some practical advice for how to get started?
Wondering what to expect once you connect yourself and your students?
We have written this book just for YOU!
We have been connecting our classrooms to the world for over fifteen years and the experience has been empowering, engaging, and enriching for our students, and for us as teachers! We have written this book for you, the classroom teacher, especially if you are curious about creating a connected classroom and would like some practical advice for how to get started, why it’s worth your time, and what you can expect once you get started.
Understanding the essential elements of a connected classroom - one with just you and your students and one that is open to a wider audience - is the first step to connecting your classroom. This chapter will highlight the key pedagogies, including SAMR and TPACK, that will make your technology-rich classroom sound in learning principles, and share some key foundational elements about what makes a classroom connected, along with why that is so important in today’s world.
We feel the best way to truly understand a connected classroom is to connect yourself, as an educator first. This chapter shares the benefits of building a Personal Learning Network (PLN), and gives you all the tools you need to create one for yourself.
This chapter takes you step-by-step through the process of connecting your students to each other by creating a blended classroom. From the types of digital spaces you might use, to the people that need to be informed and engaged in the learning process (including parents and administrators), to our time-tested strategies for setting strong behavior expectations, this chapter has everything you need to get started connecting your classroom!
When every student has a device at their fingertips, classroom management can become even more stressful! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in chapter 4! We discuss strategies for managing both behavior and the tools you’ll use in your connected classroom. These are all of our favorite tips to make your technology-rich classroom a focused place of learning - not an opportunity for distraction!
Ensuring that the devices in your classroom are used purposefully, in order to enhance or transform learning, is a key component of a successful connected classroom. This chapter will walk you through how we design technology rich learning experiences that are authentic for students, include purposeful and focused use of technology, and put the student at the center in an inquiry-driven / project-based learning environment.
As teachers, we are great at teaching literacy skills! But what are the key literacy skills in our digital world? How do we tell fact from fiction when it’s all found at our fingertips from the results of a Google search? And beyond effective and critical searching skills, how do we ensure that our students are acting responsibly, safely and respectfully in digital spaces? Chapter 6 features a variety of essential lesson plans and skills that you can use with your students right away!
Opening up your classroom to the world can be an intimidating thought. Chapter 7 walks you through all of the key elements to consider before you get started, and then provides a step-by-step guide to creating a custom collaboration that meets your curricular goals!
In addition to teaching our students how to be successful in the digital world, we need to help the parents of our students understand why this is so important. Being able to confidently and clearly discuss the rationale behind your connected classroom, as well as address very legitimate parent concerns is the focus of Chapter 8.
We don’t want this book to be the end of your journey! Chapter 9 highlights the most critical elements of this book and provides opportunities for you to continue your learning journey with us!
We have lots of additional resources to share with you via a password-protected site!
Tricia Friedman Digital Literacy Coach
Your school's PD in one convenient place
If you are even vaguely interested in keeping your thumb on the pulse of education--this is the book for you. From breaking down the anatomy of a tweet to equipping you with the basic indicators of 'being connected,' this text is a user guide for future-ready schools. The book has something for teachers just ready to dip their toes into the pool of tech-leaning pedagogy as well as those who have been thriving in online spaces for years. The authors consistently push forward an important message: it isn't the tools, it is all about the intentions. The extended readings would allow any middle leader to use this text and run a workshop or facilitate a discussion on the go. I'm already tempted to suggest this text for a staff PD book club, and I know the authenticity of the examples would not disappoint. What I love about the book is that it models 'voice and choice,' each chapter, each idea comes with a variety of avenues to pursue--the authors are practicing what they preach. I challenge anyone to finish this book without an abundance of inspiration pushing them to share their copy with a favorite colleague immediately.
Rebekah Madrid Middle School Vice Principal and MYP Curriculum Coordinator
It's about the learning....
As a classroom teacher, I wish this book existed when I first started thinking about how to best integrate technology into my classroom. Now, as an administrator, this is the type of resource I would happily pass on teachers in my school as they think about how to use technology in new and meaningful ways. Full of practical tips, real-world examples, and a wealth of resources this book will help easily help teachers identify how to best use technology to enhance learning for their students. And best of all, this book is aspirational and reminds us of the incredible potential of technology to make a real difference in the lives of our teachers, our learning networks, and most of all, our classrooms.
Runner Mike Educator
Perfect for wherever you are with using technology in the classroom
As an educator looking to reshape the classroom, this book is an essential guide for helping me explain and provide guidance on how my teachers can become connected. The authors first explain the importance of being connected. For teachers, creating a Personal Learning Network provides many benefits to make it easier to teach and improve your teaching. For students, being connected offers real world experience they may not be able to normal find inside four walls.
Vu Lam Vice Principal
this book is chalk full of great ideas, helpful tips and real applications to connecting ...
Whether you are are new to integrating technology in teaching and learning, or a seasoned pro, this book is chock-full of great ideas, helpful tips and real applications to connecting your classroom. The authors, Kim, Chrissy and Jeff have a shared passion for connecting teachers and classrooms through technology and have made a seemingly daunting process one that is both approachable and sustainable. In this book, the authors have provided best practices and strategies that cover topics like developing Personal Learning Networks (PLNs), classroom management, designing rich technology enables learning experiences, online search skills and media literacy, making global connections with other teachers and learners, and parent support as well. While this is an extensive list of topics, the book is a quick read and will have you excited and motivated to try new and old ways of connecting your students so that learning goes deeper, becomes more collaborative and grows richer. As a teacher and school leader, I will be using the gems found in this book to transform my classroom and others in my school and district.
Jennifer Chambers Instructional Tech Coach
This book provides educators a map of how to shift from being the keeper of knowledge to the guide of resources and learning for their students.
The chapters provide you with systems for managing a new learning environment, designing authentic learning experiences that are technology-rich, and ideas on communicating and working with students and parents using concrete examples from many years of experience. The chapter on Personal Learning Networks (PLN’s) made a significant impact on myself as a teacher and as a learner. I learned a new way of learning. This chapter itself makes this book a powerful resource for educators moving to a 1:1 classroom. Understanding how to access resources using a medium I had not before changed my professional learning more than any other book has. In the past I thought to be an educator was about inspiring students, but my shift to a 1:1 environment has changed that perception to providing students the tools and support, resulting in inspiring themselves in their learning. Our roles and responsibilities have changed in this new environment and thankfully Kim, Chrissy and Jeff who are pioneers of the 1:1 classroom, share their stories and lessons learned in this book, so the rest of us can make this shift.
Patrick Green Instructional Tech Coach
Give students relevant authentic learning opportunities
True to it’s name, this book is all about connections. From helping teachers to make online connections that will inspire them to grow in their practice, to tips on developing processes that will allow students to make deep connections to ideas and content and communities beyond the classroom walls this book has it all. The QR codes and links to online resources and samples that can be tweaked for your own classroom make this book an excellent jumping off point for teachers who want to give their students more relevant learning experiences.
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