U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Declares August “Connected Educator” Month and Invites Educators to Learn Together Online

San Diego, Cal. – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on June 24, 2012 that he is designating August “Connected Educator Month” and invited teachers and other educational leaders to innovate through online collaboration and learning environments.

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is convening Connected Educator Month for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET). More than 50 organizations – ranging from the American School Counselor Association and Cisco to the National Association of Elementary School Principals and Discovery Education – will participate in the month-long online event, engaging and providing resources to educators across the country.

Duncan, in a video address to the opening session of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, told participants, “Today we’re announcing that August will be Connected Educator Month, a month-long opportunity to learn together in vibrant online environments. We are excited that ISTE is joining us in spotlighting these opportunities to advance personal professional learning networks and support faculty everywhere.”

“Now more than ever we need strong leaders … to guide the country in transforming education and vastly improving the opportunity to learn for every American,” Duncan said, noting that “every educator needs to be connected with the best digital content, tools, and resources – in order to enliven the learning environment for students, and to fully connect with peers and experts.”

Throughout August, there will be coordinated opportunities to participate in activities in dozens of online locations to develop skills and enhance learning. In collaboration with a wide range of educational organizations and educators, Connected Educator Month will provide numerous online events and activities, including forums, webinars and contests. The Connected Educators project website also will offer resources to assist and recognize educators becoming more connected.

“Online communities of practice and personal learning networks are grassroots phenomena. Through them, educators are taking charge of their professional learning, and research suggests the value is real and wide ranging,” said Dr. Darren Cambridge, who is directing AIR’s work. “Numerous organizations have stepped up to support these educators as they connect with peers, experts, and resources online. We're excited that over fifty of them will offer activities, events, and materials as part of Connected Educator Month."

AIR’s partners in the effort include the Consortium for School Networking, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, Forum One Communications, Grunwald Associates LCC, ISTE, State Educational Technology Directors Association, in collaboration with a wide range of educational organizations and grassroots networks. A complete list can be found on the event homepage at http://www.connectededucators.org/.

Connected Educator Month is part of the Office of Educational Technology’s Connected Educators initiative, which is supporting informal, online, social and professional learning for educators by conducting research, hosting communities, and working with the field.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org.


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