Did your campus celebrate Connected Educators Month?

“There’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware; it’s a small world after all.”  – Walt Disney

Courtesy of ConnectedEducators.org

It’s hard to imagine that when Labor Day ends and September rolls in, Fall 2012 classes will really begin to pick up speed.  Time’s flying but the fun’s just beginning dear readers. It’s dreadfully sad to bid summer bon voyage, but let’s  begin to celebrate Autumn and start the academic year with bright-eyed pep!  Speaking of celebration, were you aware that the fine folks running Twitter.com/edcocp officially deemed August 2012 Connected Educators Month?  What a smart idea!

Understandably, kicking off the school year calendar requires a mile-long check list, so it’s entirely possible that your local campus missed throwing a ‘Connected Educator’ fiesta, soirée, or sock hop.  Not to worry because classes, teachers, and education leaders everywhere should really support this idea all year long. Therefore in the spirit of prolonged partying, check out a few suggestions below that will help raise support and hopefully connect the entire education industry:

Courtesy of CMU.edu

#1 Get the thanksgiving ball rolling by taking a few minutes to write a thoughtful LinkedIn Recommendation for a professor, a superstar student, and/or outstanding colleague.

#2 Expand your weekly reading list to include a blog or trade resource that discusses international education initiatives.  Go the extra mile by sharing feedback to connect with author and spark interactive discussion.  Feeds worth a read > UniversityWorldNews.com and The21stCenturyTeacher.com.

#3 Look around SlideShare.net’s library – it’s great!  If there’s a smart user that offers wonderful information and recaps cool presentations, it’s easy to connect amongst different community platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.

#4 Start following a Twitter list or even better, create your own list and highlight certain faculty/students/campuses that you enjoy tweeting; all the folks on these lists post A+ stuff > WorldWideLearn.com’s Top Foreign Language Professors and @SMMmagazine’s Top Marketing Professors.

#5 Tune into a Video library or Podcast stream (which in most cases synchs to your iTunes library) and download exciting materials that enhance classroom lecture activities.  Award-winning sites like VideoLectures.net and BigThink.com allow free access to excellent, informative materials featuring internationally known institutions and leaders.

Courtesy of MattWilsonPrime.com

Of course, this post only scratches the surface when it comes to discussing how education uses emerging media platforms to develop a powerful resource network.  If there’s a website, online tool or other innovative technology that supports connecting academic communities everywhere, please feel free to share any and all creative suggestions.  As always looking forward to your feedback and conversing online: @acmontgomery, LinkedIn.com/in/AmandaMontgomery, or email me at acrawfordmontgomery@gmail.com.  Happy Labor Day US friends!

Advertisements

Why Bother with an EMAC M.A.? I’ll Give You A Reason Why and then some


Where are the sewing kits and baking instructions?

When the 2010 Fall Semester began in August, I had lunch the first week of class with an old friend who was in town on business.  After catching up about summer travel, family, and football as the caring friend they are, she asked me how my grad school program was going…

It’s going really well.  I am so thankful I began working on an Emerging Media & Communications Masters.  UTD has a great program and my summer classes were awesome.

You’re getting a Master’s in Emerging Media & Communications at UTD? Are you taking Twitter 101 as a core requirement?” She laughed and took a bite of her Spinach salad.

Not exactly.  It’s a little more complicated than that.” I retorted, and then we changed subjects about whether Nordstrom Rack was having a sale or not.

When I looked at this week’s scheduled readings, dear old EMAC6300 was covering ‘Shifting Models in Knowledge and Learning Part Deaux’.  The above conversation from August immediately sparked inspiration.  As my classmates, are any of you wondering why in the world you’re pursuing what some ignorantly tote the Twitter 101 Degree?  I’ll confess that I’ve had to defend my program’s validity more than once, and I did it with gusto.  Those who jabbed fun at the Doctoral class I took this summer on Bob Dylan are also dense on other matters of life but I let their judgments go and I have no problem expressing why.  I want to hear your reasons as well so feel free to jump in whenever via ‘Leave a Comment’

Applying to this program at UTD was quite literally a blind leap of faith in the purest sense.  A fellow intern was in the Undergrad program and when I was lamenting about applying to graduate school she made mention that UTD had a similar program to what I was looking for, it was brand new and modestly priced.  I made an appointment to meet Julie Larsen that day.  I applied, got accepted, took a Doctoral level Summer School and wouldn’t change a single iota of these decision to save my life.  I love my job and am incredibly satisfied professionally but the moment you stop learning outside your work environment and growing as a professional and individual that’s when one falls behind and will forever struggle with playing catch up.  That reason alone is why I am proudly earning a Masters in Emerging Media & Communications.  Tweeting as part of class participation is cake icing.

Yes, we discuss Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other social networking sites as a cultural and technological force but guess what?  We also discuss Aristotle, Freud, Moileré, Mozart, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Steve Jobs.  My classmates and I have heated debates about everything from blogs, architecture, Sasha Baron Cohen, Marvin Gaye, Jay Z, Chris Brogan, The New York Times, Paste Magazine, Perez Hilon and as you can imagine that list goes on for quite a while.

We are in a fraternal order deemed with the task of banding together to better understand the never ending, evolving technology and how it relates back to communications.  We do Tweet in class because if we didn’t we wouldn’t be able to give feedback or collaborate as quickly as we do.  If that’s not enough to justify how my program is helping support how education, knowledge and learning are changing then I don’t know what is.  If you’re an undergraduate getting ready to graduate this Spring allow me to offer a bit of unsolicited advice: Graduate.  Take a year off and go work, consider what you want to specialize in professionally, apply to 2 or 3 graduate programs in February a year later, go to graduate school and never stop learning or continuing to grow.  The EMAC M.A. illustrates the entire reason why we should never stop extending our education.