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Try this easy way to become a globally connected educator

By Team ISTE 10/25/2016

If you have yet to jump on the connected educator bandwagon, don’t worry! Though Connected Educator Month is coming to a close, there are many ways you can stay engaged globally all year long.

The list of opportunities to learn new things from a global network of connected educators is as inspiring as it is long, but it can also be overwhelming. Deb Atchison, an ed tech consultant in Dallas, Texas, has a way to make it easier. She and Jaime Donally, an instructional technology coordinator for Tyler ISD in Texas, started edcamp Global in 2015 to bring teachers around the world together for a daylong connected learning experience.

It all started when the two pondered the possibilities of combining the edcamp professional learning format with the tools of global connected learning. “What if we could really be a part of global learning?” Atchison asked. “I’m talking a total collaborative environment focusing on people all over the world.”

Like other edcamps, edcamp Global brings educators together to teach each other what they know. The twist is that its facilitators and learners hail from 39 countries and present in several languages across multiple time zones. Participants use such digital collaboration tools as Twitter chats, Periscope, Appear.In, and Google Hangouts as well as other Google Apps for Education to connect and learn over a 24-hour period.

Inspired by their success connecting teachers, Donally and Atchison decided this year to extend the format to students with EdChange Global Classrooms.

“[EdChange Global Classrooms] is an opportunity for your students to share and collaborate with other students around the globe,” Atchison said. “Not just presenting to the teacher or … to the classroom next door, but presenting to a worldwide audience ... of students who are really interested in what they have to say. And you know that when kids prepare for the teacher, they do an OK job. But when they’re preparing for a global audience, they knock it out of the park.”

Watch Atchison’s five-minute ISTE 2016 Ignite talk to discover one easy way to become a connected educator.

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