Click Help Fundraise to start or join a team. You'll be able to help connect educators around the world through hundreds of online events and activities through your fundraising efforts. If you're not ready to start a fundraiser yet, please donate whatever you can to support one of our fundraising teams
No educator should be an island; every dollar you raise or donate helps build bridges connecting thousands…
All the research agrees--if you want to improve education, start by helping teachers. And there’s a lot of evidence that connected educators--educators who know how to use social media and online communities in their practice--are better able to support student learning. Connected Educator Month (CEM), an online festival started by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012, helps get more educators connected, broadens/deepens the connections they have, and supports collaboration and innovation in the field. In 2013, more than 400 education organizations offered more than 600 events and activities during CEM, providing hundreds of thousands of hours of professional development opportunities to millions of K-12 educators and others around the world. You can learn more about Connected Educator Month from the US Department of Education reports about the 2012 and 2013 celebrations.
As successful as CEM has been, there are still many educators in the U.S. and around the world who are not connected, and many more who are not yet taking full advantage of the opportunities connected education affords. At the same time, CEM has outgrown the Department of Education’s ability to support it alone. We’re seeking your support to:
- Provide basic support for the event so it can continue, and allow it to continue to grow sustainably
- Increase outreach to less-connected educators; develop more programs and resources to help bring them on board
- Support connected education and connected education activities year-round, not just during October, including innovations in the field
- Expand the event to involve more stakeholders in the US and around the world, to magnify its impact as a force for change
This is the first in a series of campaigns that will continue to move the ball forward in all the areas above. All your contributions are fully tax-deductible and receipts will be provided.
If you’re a connected educator or organization, read on to learn why you should be crowdfunding, doing it with us, and not just for the sake of CEM…
To connected educators and organizations
Almost by definition, connected educators want to effect change in education. Crowdfunding has become a powerful way for those of us of modest means to come together and raise enough money to get big things done, tapping into resources far beyond the limits of our own communities in the process. More than a billion dollars have been raised through each of the leading crowdfunding platforms, hundreds of millions by many others (here’s an example of what we could do together on this platform). We don’t need to raise billions--we’re connected educators, experts at doing more with less than almost any other profession. More important, the same skills that made us pioneering leaders in building and running online communities (both inside and outside education!) make connected educators and online community-builders uniquely qualified to crowdfund.
So we believe that crowdfunding needs to become a core competency of connected educators, and helping educators develop this competency needs to become as much a part of CEM’s core mission as getting educators connected. Not just for the sake of CEM or connected education, but for the future of education itself. Crowdfunding is key to how we’ll take ownership of our profession, and we’ll know we’ve succeeded when we start seeing events & activities, even whole organizations, on CEM calendars made possible by community-based funding!
Until then, let’s work together to learn how to be crowdfunders. If you join us…
- We’ll be sharing everything we learn along the way, including all the knowledge gleaned from the experts at Crowdrise, the hot new crowdfunding platform that’s generously supporting us throughout. Crowdrise’s founder is one of the leading supporters of education in the entertainment industry, and their lead backer was also the original investor in Kickstarter!
- You’ll have the opportunity to win many great educational prizes from a myriad of CEM participating organizations.
- And you’ll be able to help determine the connected education initiatives and activities we launch or support going forward, potentially even work on them, for pay even!
If you’re an education organization, contact us to learn more about the additional special benefits your organization can gain by becoming a crowdfunding team leader. Or check out these free information and support kits for joining or starting a crowdfunding team (and please pass along to friends and colleagues).
Photo: ISTE keynote speaker Jane McGonigal, an avid gamer and gamification expert, engages 6,500 connected educators in "massively multiplayer thumb wrestling" at ISTE 2014. Photo courtesy of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).