I have spent the last few weeks covering tools to help you connect with colleagues and build your PLN with the ultimate purpose of helping you facilitate your own professional learning. The “curation tool” for this week stands out from my previous suggestions because it is much more than a web-based resource or social networking site; this resource holds more potential for meaningful connections because it facilitates professional relationships both through digital tools and personal contacts.
Although I have been able to attend regional educational technology conferences in Omaha, St. Louis, Osage Beach, Des Moines, and Columbia over the past two years, I have found myself wishing that these types of opportunities were available in the Kansas City area. I am not the only one that has seen the need for quality professional development in educational technology within the Kansas City area; educational leaders across the Kansas City area have recently collaborated to transform and revitalize KCTechNet into ElevateEDU. ElevateEDU is maintaining KCTechNet’s ISTE affiliate status and will continue to provide teachers and school leaders with meaningful and relevant professional development centered around the effective implementation of technology in the classroom. But the vision does not stop there; these leaders realize that educational technology can change learning, but it is not the complete solution to transforming teaching and learning. This fact was the impetus behind the name change from KCTechNet to ElevateEDU; where KCTechNet focused primarily on educational technology, ElevateEDU will include professional development and networking in multiple areas including classroom technology. You can follow the organization through their website, Twitter account @ElevatingEdu, and the hashtag #ElevatingEDU.
ElevateEDU is planning a kick-off event for June 8 at William Chrisman High School and you can find complete details and registration information on their website. The June 8 Summer Institute is designed to include networking, workshops, and planning for the future of the organization and how it can help teachers transform instructional practices and ultimately student learning. Please consider taking advantage of this local opportunity to network and learn. The event is designed to provide learning during that day and build relationships that will facilitate learning well after the day is completed.