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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Connecting Educators Who Are Nervous About Being Connected - #ce15

During Connected Educator Month there will be millions of Tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media interactions between teachers. But what about the teachers who don't want to get involved in a social network? What can we do to help them become connected in some way? When I work with teachers who are reluctant to become connected online, I have three suggestions that I make to them. Those suggestions center on email, RSS, social media lurking.

Email:
At this point every teacher is familiar with how email works so there isn't a technical hurdle to clear here. I'll suggest that teachers sign-up for a weekly or monthly email newsletter. The two that I suggest are Larry Ferlazzo's monthly newsletter and my Practical Ed Tech newsletter. Both provide summaries of what's new in ed tech and education. My hope is that teachers who sign-up for these newsletters will become interested enough that they want to find a way to receive more frequent updates.

Feedly, Flipboard, other RSS readers:
Teachers who want to receive updates a bit more frequently than a weekly newsletter, will benefit from using an RSS reader like Feedly or Flipboard. I introduce these tools to teachers as a way to have their favorite websites come to them rather than having to go to their favorite websites for updates. I'm a fan of Feedly because I like the user interface and it works as well in my web browser as it does on my phone and my iPad. A Feedly tutorial video can be seen here.


Social media lurking:
This is the point at which you're not quite ready to take the plunge and actually register for an account on Twitter, but you want to see what everyone is talking about. You can search on Twitter and see what people are talking about without actually creating an account on Twitter. Search using a hashtag like #ce15 for Connected Educator Month or #edchat or any of the hundreds of hashtags used by educators.