We hear a lot about being a “connected educator”, how it makes our profession better, ourselves better.  I’ve bought into that whole-heartedly, creating (in my own mind) a network where I can find ideas, support, and ways to pushing my own thinking.  Now, people might thinking as a teacher, I’m looking for only teachers.  Ha! I scoff at that idea! 🙂

My network consists of teachers, administrators, gardeners, musicians, authors, runners, coaches, and a few others who are on there just because of who they are.  It’s an eclectic, different bunch, but one that makes me better professionally and personally in what I try to do with my life.  Do I find some tweets that are head scratchers? Sometimes.  However, more often than not, I can always find something interesting.

Now, as our family has grown up, we’ve become more connected digitally with each other.  We all have our Facebook pages that we can share information if we aren’t able to talk at home.  My daughter is on a choir trip to Washington DC, and last night we used the app Voxer to talk with her and her friends.  We are watching our kids grown up in this digital age, and for the most part, we has parents are holding our own.

Last night, probably not 30 minutes after we’d Voxered back and forth, Rafranz Davis (@rafranzdavis) tweeted out about her mother was about to watch her daughter college dance squad via YouTube.  We talk about ourselves as connected, but that idea of connected families, the way people use Skype, Instagram, Twitter, even Facebook to share, connect, or reconnect is a story that’s worthy shouting out as well.  If technology dried up in schools, a majority of our students would still have access because there are so many devices and ways to connect.  Our students have the access when they walk out of our doors, why should we be blocking this?  I’m preaching to the crowd, but we should be embracing that connection, striving to educate the proper ways of doing so, and demonstrating to our communities the power those connections have in the lives of our students.

My daughter sent me a Voxer message this morning while on the bus, that’s WiFi-enabled (crazy).  She’s just outside of  Chicago and coming home.  How cool is that?

Find those digital connections, whether professional or personal.  See how creating the connection or making the reconnection creates a change in your life.  Both professionally and personally, I can see the positives with myself.