Thursday, October 8, 2015

Being a Connected Educator: #TOSAChat's Top Ten Tips for Becoming and STAYING Connected!

October is Connected Educator month and #TOSAChat  went big with a fantastic chat co-moderated by Kelly Martin (@kmartintahoe) and The Weird Teacher himself Doug Robertson (@theweirdteacher). The terrific TOSAs of #TOSAChat  brainstormed some tried & true as well as some new ways to become and STAY a connected educator! To check see ALL of the awesome, check out the storify here

1. The number one way to connect with other educators was of course TWITTER! It should come as no surprise since we were ON a twitter chat talking about being a connected educator. Twitter is a is a huge resource for educators as they become and stay connected. Connect with others through tweets, responses, DMs, and of course chats! Check out the official Twitter Chat Calendar to find chats to join! (Shared by @jyoung1219 and echoed by all of #TOSAChat)

2. G+ is a somewhat underutilized resource for staying connected with the education world but it got some serious love from #TOSAChat. There are TONS of fabulous G+ communities out there including out very own TOSAChat G+! Also be sure to take a look at these 200+ Educational Google+ Communities posted by Doug Holton (@edtechdev). (Shared by @EdTechSpec)

3. Meet up with others in REAL life! It is important to meet with your PLN face to face. Find a local EdCamp, CUE Conference or a #GAFE summit in your area. (Shared by @EdTechAri and @judyblakeney)

4. Host a #CoffeeEdu (@coffeeEdu)! A CoffeeEdu is a kind of "unconference" that encourages your PLN to meet face to face for an hour. Learn more about it and how to host your own at (Shared by @MsHaughs)

5. Ryan (@creativeedtech) shared his AWESOME weekly Ed Tech Newsletter with us. He uses text, videos, gifs, images and more to share tips, resources and ideas with the teachers in his district.

6. Crowdsource and connect! Use a Google Form, Google Doc, or Google Slides to keep teachers connected and share after a professional development session or conference. We have a shared Google Sheet for TOSAs to complete to connect with one another. Add your info here! (Shared by @ScottPadway)

7. Google Hangouts on Air are a fabulous way to meet with members of your PLN. You can have a meeting with educators from other districts across town or across the country. Share the URL of you GHO on air to bring team members up to speed if they missed out on the live meeting. Learn more about how to host your own Google Hangout on Air. (Shared by @htullmann and @sarahlandis)

8. Walk & Talk and Eat & Tweet! These two ideas were very popular in #TOSAChat! To make the most of the VERY limited time we have as educators Ann and Jody suggest going for a walk and talk or hosting an #eatandtweet! (Shared by @annkozma723 and@peerlessgreen)

9. Hyperdocs (created by Lisa Highfill @lhighfill, Sarah Landis @sarahlandis and Kelly Hilton @kellyihilton) are a fantastic way to connect with others through a Google Doc. Use a hyperdoc with embedded links to notes, videos, contact information and other resources to keep educators connected. To learn more about hyperdocs check out this webinar. Shared by @_wharris)

10. We started and ended the chat with some serious BLOG LOVE! To start #TOSAChat off our amazing PLN shared their own blogs or blogs from other #eduawesome tweeps! The chat came full circle with a #TOSAChat  October Blog Challenge. 20 brave TOSAs accepted the challenge to pair up with another TOSA to commit to blogging and check in with each other! 

October #TOSAChat  Blog Challenge Partners

#TOSAChat Blogs to follow! Check them out!

#TOSAChat was started by Ben Cogswell (@Cogswell_ben), Joe Young (@Jyoung1219), Kelly Martin (@kmartintahoe) and myself as a way for Teachers On Special Assignment to connect, share and grow together. Check out to view past chats storify links and upcoming questions. You can join us at 8PM PST on Monday nights.

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