Connected education is both simple and complicated. I know that sounds strange but it is true. Using tools like Twitter, Facebook, Google Hangouts, and Skype can make our lives much simpler. We do not have to travel to have meetings with colleagues, who live far away, because we can simply connect with them through social media. We are no longer tied to using a phone where we don’t see the person but only hear them. There are video tools that help us see their faces and body language as we talk. By using these tools, it helps bring us closer together and opens up the possibilities.
However, connected education can also be complicated. There are so many tools out there that it is easy to get lost with the proper ones to use. Sometimes, as connected educators, we talk so much about new tools that we lose people because they are afraid they do not know as much as we do, and feel they will never catch up. With the vast examples of connected tools to use, we need to make sure that we are breaking them down into their finer parts, and not talking about them all at once. We have a duty to explain what those tools are, why people should use them, and do a little handholding in the process.
And that is what Corwin is doing with their new Connected Educator Series, and I could not be more excited about it. I started the conversation, and through the collaboration with many others, the first books in the series will be publishing in August and September.
Over the past seven months since taking a leave of absence from being a principal, and ultimately resigning from the position, I have been working as a consulting editor for Corwin on our Connected Educator Series. Due to be released in August and September, there will be 8 books by 10 authors that focus on different ideas in connected education. The series came out of a conversation I had last August with Corwin Press President, Mike Soules, and Senior Editor, Arnis Burvikovs, at dinner in Thousand Oaks, California. I felt as though connected education was a big idea that needed to be broken down into its component parts, and Mike and Arnis agreed. Along with Associate Editor Ariel Price, we worked as a team to put it all together. I approached most of the authors through my Professional Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter. I had read their blogs, knew their work, and they clearly had a fascination with connected education.
What came about has been a community of experts who wanted to share their passion with readers, but also wanted to learn from one another. The books are a vast assortment of connected education. And they begin with a book about an idea that I had on a whim to make the most out of faculty meetings and connect with parents in a more authentic way. I refer to it as Flipped Leadership.
The first round of the series includes:
- Flipping Leadership Doesn’t Mean Reinventing the Wheel by Peter DeWitt
- Connected Leadership by Spike Cook
- The Relevant Educator by Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson
- Empowered Schools, Empowered Students by Pernille Ripp
- All Hands On Deck by Brad Currie
- The Power of Branding by Tony Sinanis and Joe Sanfelippo
- Teaching the iStudent by Mark Barnes
- The Edcamp Model by Kristen Swanson and the Edcamp Foundation
Future books coming in the series include:
- Blogging for Educators by Starr Sackstein
- Content Curation by Steven Anderson
- Worlds of Making by Laura Fleming
- The Missing Voices of EdTech by Rafranz Davis
- Leading Professional Learning by Tom Murray and Jeff Zoul
- Principal Professional Development by Joe Sanfelippo and Tony Sinanis
- 5 Powerful Skills for the Global Learner by Mark Barnes
- Standing in the Gap by Lisa Dabbs and Nicol Howard
- The Educator’s Guide to Creating Connections edited by Tom Whitby
- Breaking Out of Isolation by Spike Cook, Jessica Johnson, and Theresa Stager
- Using Technology to Engage Students With Learning Disabilities by Billy Krakower and Sharon LePage Plante
- Confident Voices by John Spencer
In the End
One of the reasons why blogs are so popular these days is that they are 1,100 words or less; some are much less. They offer thought-provoking ideas or provide strategies that practitioners can put into practice tomorrow what they read today. The Connected Educator Series offers the same benefit. All of these books are short form, which means they are less than 60 pages. They offer practical practitioner advice, guidance for how to move forward, they break down one often complicated and intimidating topic (Connected Education) down to its finer parts. The writers are all experts in their field, and more importantly, really funny and engaging educators.
For more information about the series, please check out the new series website that launches TODAY!