August 1st is right around the corner, and with it comes the kickoff of Connected Educator Month. For 31 days, the internet will be flooded with awesome free content, activities, webinars, chats, and even more ways of getting connected, learning about Web 2.0 tools, and finding out what it means to be a Connected Educator. Powerful Learning Practice is a proud participating organization in Connected Educator Month. Each Monday for the next several weeks, we’ll give you a heads up about what’s going on for the week. Pick one activity (just dip your toe into the water) or do several things (dive right in). Here’s what’s going on for the first week of Connected Educator Month.

Get the free Starter Kit

Are you brand new to connecting with others online? Maybe you’re already connected, but want to dive deeper into online communities, networks, and tools. Then check out the Connected Educator Starter Kit. Loaded with helpful links and embedded videos, the kit takes a 31 days approach for this special month, giving you one simple way to get more connected every day.  Please feel free to pass it along to any friend or colleague you think could benefit from getting more connected! Get your FREE Connected Educator Starter Kit now.

Join the Connected Educators Book Club

The Connected Educators Book Club is an opportunity to read books about or related to online communities, then discuss them with your peers and the author, through asynchronous dialog (in a book club circle on Google+) and weekly real-time multimedia discussions (on Blackboard Collaborate).  You’ll also receive weekly emails from the club highlighting the latest book-related discussions and events. The first book is Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall’s The Connected Educator, which compellingly lays out a step-by-step path to using online connected communities to become a connected learner engaged in do-it- yourself professional development. Even if you think you know it all, we promise this book’s club sessions will be engaging and thought-provoking. Find out more and sign up for the book club.

Panel discussion: Professional Learning in the Learning Profession

Wednesday, August 1, 1-2:30pm Eastern (NYC) time: What and where are the best (social) opportunities for educators to work on and learn for their practice in the coming year? What steps should every educator consider taking to become more connected, and what are the key resources that can help? Get answers to these questions and more in the Professional Learning in the Learning Profession forum.

The live kick-off will consist of panel and open discussion moderated by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. Panelists will include Cathy Gassenheimer, Jackie Gerstein, Caren Levine, Stephanie Sandifer, Kathy Schrock, and Will RichardsonGet more info and join the session.

Free webinar: Project-based learning

Friday, August 3rd, 10am Eastern (NYC) time: It’s not about ignoring the testing, the core curriculum or the standards. It’s about allowing students to pick an entry point and helping them discover what you want them to learn. Spend an hour chatting with Jane Krauss, co-author of the best-selling Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age and Powerful Learning Practice co-founder and CEO Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. We’ll talk about the basics of problem, passion, and project-based learning. You’ll see examples of effective projects, learn to identify what success “looks like” for planning and evaluating student learning, and we’ll talk about implementing PBL into your classroom. Click here to register for this free webinar and we’ll email you instructions on how to join us.

Panel discussion: Connected Education and the First Six Weeks

Friday, August 3, 3-4:30pm Eastern (NYC) time: Learn about the key “to-dos” to get 2012-2013 off to a great start in the classroom, and how online communities and networks help make it great. The first 6 weeks of school always marks new beginning, whether you are a new teacher getting bearings and building strategies for classroom management, or whether you’re a seasoned teacher looking to expand your reach and exposure to other educators.

The live kick-off for this month-long forum discussion will consist of panel and open discussion moderated by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Andrew Gardner. Panelists include Suzie Boss, Lyn Hilt, Jane Krauss, David Rosas, and Kate BertenGet more info and join the session.

Free webinar: Peek inside the Life of a Connected Learner

Monday, August 6th, 9am Eastern (NYC) time: Spend an hour chatting with us and find out how to learn like connected learners do – through action research, lesson plan studies, virtual classroom visits, and more. Seating is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Show us your network, win great prizes

Show your Personal Learning Network for a chance to win one of many fabulous prizes! Powerful Learning Practice has teamed up with the Intel Teachers Engage Community to launch a video contest and we want to hear from you – What makes you a connected learner? How does being connected play out throughout your day? What are your tips and tricks for growing and building a personal learning network? Get the video contest details, see all the great prizes, and learn how to enter.

Join us on Facebook

During Connected Educator Month, we would love for a group of connected learners to contribute to our Connected Learner Facebook page. We want to use this FB space to co-create and share the best resources, ideas and pedagogy we have from our own learning and the work or our schools and organizations. Think collaboration (not competition). Think collective knowledge building and collective intelligence. We hope everyone will begin by “Liking” the page and then share something others will want to see. This is the place to selflessly promote your good ideas and work.

Contribute to the Connected Learning Manifesto

The Connected Learning Manifesto is a collaborative statement on connected learning – what is it? What do we believe about it? Who is a connected learner? Why is it important? We want to hear from you. Visit the collaborative Connected Learning Manifesto and add your thoughts, statements, or strong assertions. Leave a comment here and let us know what you added. And don’t forget to add your Twitter handle to the document so others can connect with you online.

What sparks your interest?

Wow, that’s a lot going on, and it’s only the first week! Not to mention all the other activities and events on the Connected Educator Month calendar! Do any of these events spark your interest? Will we see you at a forum kickoff or free webinar? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.

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