Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Review of The Connected Educator

In her book, The Connected Educator, co-written by Lani Ritter Hall, Nussaum-Beach illustrates what being a connected educator is all about. In addition to learning about the latest research and trends relating to social media and professional development in the 21st Century, readers get a glimpse into the authors’ own experiences and journeys through their vignettes. This adds a personal element to the text, which shows the reader how becoming, “connected” is, to some extent, an individual journey. On that same note, the authors put the power into the reader’s hands to start or enhance their own journey with a variety of social media tools. It is refreshing to see authors guide readers in trying new tools and actually take part in connecting and collaborating with others. This is a powerful way to get their message across.

As an educator with an interest in personal learning networks, there are several aspects that I appreciate from this book. First, the sections on different tools that promote connected learning and building a connected learning community are both concise and informative. They also offer excellent guidelines for those who are new to social media and PLNs. Finally, I really like how The Get Connected sections offered step-by-step instructions on different social media tools that encouraged application of the concepts mentioned throughout the book. I highly recommend The Connected Educator for any educator who is interested in taking control of their own professional learning as well as who seeks collaboration and connections with other educators.

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach is a veteran twenty-year educator. She has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor, and digital learning consultant. Currently, she is completing her dissertation for her doctorate in educational planning, policy, and leadership at the College of William and Mary.

She is the owner and founder of 21st Century Collaborative, LLC, a digital learning consulting business through which she regularly delivers keynotes and workshops, along with supporting nonprofits in their grant work. Through Powerful Learning Practice, which she cofounded with Will Richardson, she works with schools and districts from across the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, and Australia to re-envision their learning cultures and communities.

Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics of 21st century reform, teacher and educational leadership, community building, and educational issues impacting marginalized populations such as the homeless.

Sheryl lives near the Atlantic Ocean and spends her spare time playing on the water with her four children and dachshunds Itchy, Bane, and Abby.


  1. Thanks for the well written review. Glad you enjoyed the book. I hope others will find the book and find it to be helpful because of your review.

  2. Sheryl,

    You are very welcome. Thank you for the book. It was very helpful in writing the section of Personal Learning Networks for my dissertation. I'd be interested in reviewing yours or other authors from the Solution Tree in the future.