Yesterday I worked through some late night mental soup thinking about the challenge of how we get other teachers to connect and grow. After some twitter discussions and a rather intense discussion on voxer I have come back to something I started my journey with as a connected educator: build the foundation from the ground up. We cannot force people into the mindset that works for connected educators.
What we need, is not to force every educator to connect, but to build the foundation upon which others can stand. We need to create a base of connected educators that spread knowledge for those that will maybe never connect. To be the ones modeling, sharing, and expanding our digital PLNs into our physical space.
Creating that base means we need to be able to identify the people who have the right mindset. Make it accessible for them. Create an avenue for those educators to connect and then spread the growth beyond the walls, then bring it back into their walls.
A huge part of this is going to be connecting new educators before they ever make it to the classroom.
We need to find ways to engage pre-service teachers in connecting while they are still learning to be educators. In doing so, they can begin by seeing the value in connecting as part of their practice. We may not be able to connect all of our educators, but within a generation of new teachers, we should have created a way more connected base of educators so that being connected is no longer the outlier, but the norm.