This month is Connected Educator Month (CEM) which supports President Obama’s education initiative called ConnectED. It is designed to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries within five years. In his remarks introducing ConnectED, he stressed that bold action was needed if we are to offer our students the best education so they can compete for jobs and succeed in a global and increasingly digital economy.
To make it happen, ConnectED laid out a three-pronged approach:
- First, it calls on the FCC to make major capital investments in infrastructure to increase broadband and high-speed wireless capability in schools and libraries.
- Second, it calls for more professional development for teachers so they can stay up-to-date on the resources available, give them the tools to understand each student’s strengths and weaknesses, and design lessons to better meet their students’ needs.
- Third, it calls for private sector innovation and public/private partnerships to fill in the gaps government-funded programs cannot cover, such as creating robust educational software and feature-rich devices to give students access to more educational resources.
A month-long celebration
We hope everyone had a chance to take advantage of some of the diverse and engaging CEM activities. This year CEM featured enhanced programming and more events ranging from webinars to forum discussions to online chats and much more. For example, with winter right around the corner, an especially timely webinar from ISTE was “Flexible Instruction Days for Inclement Weather.” Or maybe you took advantage of the “Fair Use for the Remix Generation” conference. Every single day this month, there has been an amazing wealth of events to choose from along with great resources on the Innovations Exchange.
Over the past two years, millions of educators and others around the world have participated in hundreds of professional development opportunities as part of CEM. The numbers aren’t in yet, but based on its success in 2012 and 2013, we think CEM will reach even more educators in 2014.
It’s important to note that it really does “take a village.” An event like this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. CEM 2014 was convened by a group of core partners such as the U.S. Department of Education, and in collaboration with a wide range of participating organizations, from Adobe to Microsoft to WizIQ. Kudos to all!
Connected Educator Month is a great initiative and a lot of good work and ideas have sprouted from it. But there is still more work to be done and gaps to close. At Mobile Beacon, we’re looking forward to continuing the momentum CEM has sparked by reaching out to more schools and libraries.
Which CEM events did you participate in? Tell us your favorites!