Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

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OAC Connected Educator Spotlight: Robert Dodd

by User Not Found | Oct 28, 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 Robert Dodd, a Connected Principal

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

A connected educator uses technology as a resource to learn and grow as an educator.  A connected educator uses their professional learning network (PLN) as a resource to stay up to date on all of the current technological innovations.

2. How did you get started?

As an educator, I had a background in technology and kept up to date with the latest trends in technology. I began by using the school website to communicate with parents and students throughout the school year, while using my PLN, websites, and publications to learn more about the impacts technology has in education. 

As my career progressed and I became an administrator, I remember reading an article about how social media can be used to effectively communicate with communities, parents, and students. I continued reading and learning more about digital and social media tools, and began using Twitter as a way to communicate with the community, and as resource for my own professional development.

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

I use the school website, email, texting, blogging and a variety of other tools including:
Each tool enables me to help our building grow and keep everyone informed about what is going on at the high school. It is important to stay up to date on digital and social media tools in order to obtain the maximum benefit of each.

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

I have been able to connect with many highly educated and successful people who help me grow professionally. I especially like to participate in Twitter chats using hashtags. Through Twitter, I get a lot of ideas and practices to use at school on a daily basis. I have also presented at conferences, sharing my own experiences and helping other educators grow and connect.  Using my blog has enabled me to connect with others and share my views as an educational leader.

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

Start with Twitter, and follow educators and/or administrators. Read what they post, participate in Twitter chats using hashtags, and get others in your building involved. It is one or the most powerful forms of professional development that I have used in my years in education.  It may seem complicated at first, but it is actually a fairly straightforward tool to use.  You have to start somewhere—creating an account and following educational leaders around the world is a great starting point. Not sure who to follow? Search the Internet for educational leaders, authors of books, and/or motivational speakers. Then search their names on Twitter and start following them to gain insight and help you grow as an educator.

Don't forget about the technology your district provides. Use the school website and other educational technology resources your district offers.  I use the blogging tool that is offered through our school website software.  Using a blog has enabled me to connect with other educators from around the world, and also get my message out about my community, school, and educational thoughts and beliefs.  

Don’t be afraid to take a chance and grow as an educator. Becoming a connected educator benefits your district, your building, and yourself as a professional. It allows you to build a PLN and use resources from around the world to help the kids in our communities.

Connect with Robert Dodd

Connect with New Lexington High 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.