We all know that education budgets are getting cut more and more, and that meaningful professional-development opportunities have unfortunately become a bit of an oxymoron in education. Not only can being a "connected educator" help change that, but it can also provide you with ongoing inspiration and support. I'd even go as far to argue that being connected will be the most impactful thing you can do in your career.

Twitter is one of the most powerful tools that you can use for your professional development -- 24/7. It's estimated that hundreds of thousands of educators around the world are currently using Twitter to connect, share, and collaborate.

While it's fantastic that educators are flocking to Twitter, many of them still feel even more alone and isolated within their own school and district. There's an unfortunate inverse trend I've noticed in education: the more connected you are on Twitter, the less support and collaboration you tend to have within your school.

Do you smell that? If you're like me, the scent of anticipation and innovation from ISTE's annual conference in Atlanta has been tantalizing your senses more and more . . .

I've written a couple of posts on how to make ISTE awesome and a suggested to-do list, but for this year, I've put a different twist on it. I'd like you to make one goal for ISTE (and really all conferences you attend): do it your way. Here are some helpful tips for taking ownership of your learning at ISTE and making it a truly memorable experience.

Ten Tips for Becoming a Connected Educator

ASCD's annual conference (see #ASCD13 on Twitter) recently came to a close, and one of the main themes that kept surfacing was the need for more "connected educators." At this conference, there were definitely some great "firsts." The general session kicked off with a keynote from Freeman A. Hrabowski III, who tweeted his first tweet; an impromptu #edcampRogue sprouted up from in-attendance edcampers; and author and poet Maya Angelou was even tweeting at age 85!

In the three years that I've been building up Edutopia's presence on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, andYouTube, I've noticed a significant shift in how our audience of education changemakers interact and collaborate. In particular, I've seen Twitter reinvent the way educators collaborate to create change in education.

It's June, and one of the biggest edtech conferences in the US is quickly approaching -- ISTE's annual conference & exposition in San Diego. I don't know about you, but I always get nerdily excited for opportunities like this to network and collaborate with likeminded folks passionate about education. ISTE currently has almost 700 sessions available to attend, some buzz-worthy keynotes including Sir Ken Robinson and Dr. Yong Zhao, and a HUGE edtech expo. With all of these events going on, it can be overwhelming to even the most tech-savvy educator. So, I've compiled some useful tips from my experiences at ISTE that can help you make the most of your trip.

Can you remember what you did in the last 54 hours? Chances are you didn't create a company. But that's exactly what some entrepreneurs and educators did at this past weekend's Startup Weekend Edu. In just over a weekend, many startups were launched with a mission to leverage technology and innovation to help improve education.

Can you remember what you did in the last 54 hours? Chances are you didn't create a company. But that's exactly what some entrepreneurs and educators did at this past weekend's Startup Weekend Edu. In just over a weekend, many startups were launched with a mission to leverage technology and innovation to help improve education.

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Elana Leoni is the Director of Social Media Strategy & Marketing at Edutopia. Under Elana's leadership of 7 years, Edutopia's social media presence has exponentially grown to reach millions of education change-makers.

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