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Teachers celebrate Connected Educator Month

MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2013 06:46 AM

This past June, President Barack Obama introduced the public to the ConnectED Initiative - an effort to connect 99 percent of American students to the Internet within five years. According to a White House press release, schools could achieve this goal through the adoption of high-speed broadband and wireless technology.

October is an ideal time for teachers to take major steps forward regarding their Web capabilities, as it also happens to be Connected Educator Month.

Connecting teachers with learning opportunities
Throughout October, educators have a chance to participate in a range of activities related to improving their knowledge of education and the role the Internet can play in it, according to a U.S. Department of Education press release. These opportunities will be especially helpful to teachers currently in the process of transitioning to the Common Core State Standards.

"One of the most important things we can do to support teachers and students is to put modern tools in their hands, and give them access to the limitless knowledge and connections that the Internet makes possible," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a statement. "That's why President Obama has made a priority of getting our schools connected to high-speed broadband, and it's also why I'm so enthusiastic about Connected Educator Month."

Overall, nearly 200 educational organizations are taking part in this month-long event. With so many participants, a diverse array of learning opportunities is just a few clicks away.

Activities abound
So long as teachers are connected to the Internet, they can view webinars, participate in live chats and discover different projects and contests that might appeal to them.

"Connected Educator Month provides an opportunity for all educators across the country to join a vibrant community of teachers and leaders using technology to reimagine learning," said Richard Culatta, director of the Office of Educational Technology, in a statement.

Once educators connect with their peers nationwide, they have the potential to learn strategies they can bring back to their classrooms. For example, one webinar involves five American organizations and UNESCO. Its purpose is to highlight mobile learning, not just in the U.S., but around the world as well.

Educators can also complete special activities that will help them earn digital badges that show they have mastered specific technology skills. Such abilities will be essential as schools embrace the CCSS, which place a greater focus on the use of technology in the classroom.