Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

OAC Connected Educator Spotlight: Amanda Pierce

by User Not Found | Oct 21, 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:
Now let's introduce our next connected educator!

Meet Amanda Pierce, a Connected Teacher

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

A connected educator has taken charge of his/her own professional growth. A connected educator is aware of current issues and practices in the world of education, and has a professional network of people whom they learn and share knowledge with anytime, anywhere, through the use of social media.

2. How did you get started?

My interest in the use of technology began five years ago when my school received a technology grant. My classroom went from having a dry erase board to having a promethean along with laptops for every student. As part of the grant, we were fortunate to have extensive training in how to effectively use and integrate the technology into our curriculum. Having that experience transformed my classroom along with my teaching practices. Since then I have continued my quest to improve student engagement and academic success through the effective use of technology.  

This past year I became interested in building my own professional network of educators who are interested in tech in the classroom and personalized learning.  I’m a visual person, so I began with Pinterest. I started a few boards for the subjects I teach. I found a wealth of practical “all ready to go” resources that I could use in the classroom the very next day. I began following boards of others who were pinning the same types of resources that I was. This was the starting point for building my professional learning network (PLN).  

I also signed up for a Twitter account. I began as a “lurker” for a few months, just watching what others were posting. Tweeting can seem intimidating at first, but once you get started you quickly begin to see the value it brings to your professional world. It also gives your PLN the momentum it needs to attract those studying the same topics.  

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

I use different tools for different purposes. For my own professional growth and to “stay ahead of the curve,” I like to use Twitter and Scoop It. When I’m feeling creative or I need a quick classroom resource, I use Pinterest. I just started using LinkedIn a few months ago to connect with other professionals in my field.

Scoop It curates content from the internet based on a user’s interests. I use it to find content and resources on personalized learning and tech in the classroom.   

Twitter is a way to see content and resources other educators have already curated and feel are noteworthy. Many times I’ll tweet articles I read through Scoop It to my followers on Twitter. It becomes a nonstop continuous flow of professional learning.  

I’m a huge fan of Pinterest because it’s quick and easy and you can pin things to your boards to view later.  It’s a great tool for finding fun things to do with your classroom curriculum and you can also use it to find information on topics you are researching. For example, I have boards for formative instructional practices, college and career readiness, Common Core, personalized learning and Tech in the Classroom.  

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

Being a connected educator has broken down the walls when it comes to professional development. I am in charge of my learning. Where I learn, what I learn, and what I share is all up to me. I guess I would say that I feel empowered within my practice, and that has led to having more confidence in what I do. Being connected through the tools that I chose to use, has enabled me to move forward with my learning at my own pace, at my own time(s), and on topics that are chosen by me.

5. What advice do you have for educators who want to get started?

Start with one platform and then go from there. 

If you want to connect with other educators with similar interests to learn and share, start with Twitter. The OAC Collaboration Space is a great “one stop shop” for finding out what’s going on within the OAC, current issues in education, and teaching practices. 

If you’re not ready to connect with other professionals, but are interested in growing professionally on a particular topic, start with Scoop It.  

If you are more of a visual person and would like to start collecting ideas to use in your practice, go with Pinterest. You’ll be amazed at the power of Pinterest. It’s not just about recipes!

Connect with Amanda Pierce

Connect with Morgan Local Schools

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.