Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

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OAC Connected Educator Spotlight: Krissy Machamer

by User Not Found | Oct 08, 2013

October is Connected Educator Month!

In celebration of Connected Educator Month, we'll be recognizing a few of our OAC connected educators who are using digital and social media to build relationships, share knowledge, and enhance their own professional learning. Each week, we'll post an OAC Connected Educator Spotlight  featuring answers to five questions about their experience as a connected educator, advice to other educators, and tools they use. So far, we've highlighted:
  • Joel Moore, Principal at Conesville Elementary School
Now let's introduce our next connected educator!

Meet Krissy Machamer, a Connected Media Specialist

1. What is your definition of a “connected educator?”

Connected educators don’t just connect to solve a problem or find a great lesson plan. They connect because they thrive in a collaborative learning environment that allows they to grow professionally, ultimately positively impacting their work with their students. Being connected also allows educators to feel less isolated in their quest for meeting the needs of diverse learners in a country where education seems to be in a constant state of change. Connected educators are able to push through times of change because they know they are not alone in finding solutions to difficult educational issues.

I recommend to book The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in the Digital Age by Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and Lani Ritter Hall. It does a great job of describing connected educators as do-it-yourself, collaborative learners who leverage online networks to share experiences, learn from each other, and problem solve together.

2. How did you get started?

This digital world has amazed me for many years. I started “living” in it back when I received an interactive whiteboard for my classroom. I used it to search for lessons online and began to see the opportunities to find resources were almost limitless. 

From there, I started searching for ways to connect with other educators who had this same interest. By serving as an ORC Ambassador and Thinkfinity Field Trainer, I had my first opportunity to connect with educators in an online environment and gain new knowledge and resources. 

Since then, I have tried to cultivate any opportunity to connect either digitally or face to face; seeing each interaction as an opportunity to learn something new that might help my students, my district, or myself to grow professionally and always become a better teacher.

3. What tools (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use? 

I use several different tools to stay connected. My favorites include:

I also connect with other educators on sites like Connected Educators and within online educational communities like Google+ and edWeb

I follow multiple educational blogs and online digital magazines including EdWeek, Tech & Learning, and The Journal. I also post resources on my own blog, Teaching with Tech K-12

4. What value has being a connected educator brought you?

Being a connected educator has allowed me to:
  • Gain a more global sense of current trends in education
  • Find the latest research-based best practices
  • Take free online courses and teach myself new things (including how to begin to write some HTML and CSS coding language, how to create my own website, how to use complex software such as Adobe eLearning Suite)
  • Connect and communicate with educators across the United States
5. What advice do you have for educators who want to get started?

Start with an interest that is close to your heart as an educator. You might want to solve an instructional problem, change the way you teach a particular unit or topic, or stay more aware of educational trends.

Then search. If you aren’t sure where to begin, ask your colleagues. Or, try Google. Research the information you receive and identify what’s most valuable to you. Continue to visit those sites and connect with those sources.

Don’t be afraid to communicate your ideas. Post a new resource to your favorite site, write a blog entry for a digital magazine, or start your own wiki or blog to share with your colleagues.

Encourage others to be open to new ideas and ways of learning. Share your experiences. The digital world may be new territory for some of us, but we need to remember this is the world many of our students live in. They will be expected to know and understand these skills in the future, and we need to help them be successful. 

Connect with Krissy Machamer

Connect with Maysville Elementary School

Share your Experience!

We encourage you to share your own experiences throughout the month. What digital and social media tools do you use? What questions do you have about becoming connected? What advice do you have for others? Comment below.