Celebrating Connected Educator Month 2013

Cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Education blog.


Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

In support of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology is proud to announce that October is Connected Educator Month. Throughout the month, educators will have opportunities to participate in online events, build personal learning networks, and earn digital badges by demonstrating technology skills.

Online communities help educators share effective strategies, reduce isolation, and provide “just in time” access to knowledge and expertise. However, many educators are not yet taking advantage of all the benefits of connected learning. Schools, districts, and states can dramatically enhance their professional development by integrating digital learning opportunities into their formal professional development and teacher quality efforts.

“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. “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.”

Nearly 200 educational organizations are participating in Connected Educator Month. These organizations will provide a variety of interactive activities, such as webinars, live chats, open houses, contests, projects, and badges for connected educators to earn.

Activities and events will range from a design challenge, in which educators will develop strategies for helping kids develop creative confidence, to a webinar in which five U.S. organizations will team up with UNESCO to share insights about mobile learning around the globe. State and locally focused activities will also engage communities of educators across the nation.

“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.

Connected Educator Month events can be found at www.ConnectedEducators.org/events. The site will be updated continually to reflect new activities, as they are added throughout the month. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using the #CE13 hashtag.

For more information about Connected Educator Month, visit http://www.ConnectedEducators.org.

Cameron Brenchley is director of digital strategy at the U.S. Department of Education

Reminder! Open Comment Period on E-Rate

The open comment period ends September 16. However, until October 16, consumers are able to read and comment on others’ submissions during what is called a ‘reply period.’ This Notice of Proposed Rule Making is to inform the FCC on how to modernize the E-rate program. The FCC has published three main goals for the modernization effort:

  1. Ensuring schools and libraries have affordable access to high-speed broadband
  2. Maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-rate purchases
  3. Streamlining E-rate program administration

In addition, there are other issues on which the FCC is seeking input, such as whether and how the FCC can permit schools to provide wireless hotspots using E-rate supported services.

Public Comment Period Open for Modernizing E-Rate Program

In June, President Obama launched the ConnectED initiative, which seeks to bring 21st century technology to our nation’s schools. The Internet and modern technology are powerful tools for putting engaging learning resources, on-demand explanations of concepts, and primary documents and tools for solving real-world problems in the hands of students and teachers. Yet today, most U.S. schools lack the bandwidth to support using these digital learning resources.

Read More