George Lucas Educational Foundation

Tom Whitby


Thomas D. Whitby is the author of The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning, and The Educator's Guide To Creating Connections. He is @tomwhitby on Twitter with 64,000 followers. Tom retired from Public Education after serving 34 years as a secondary English teacher, and spent an additional six years as an adjunct Professor at St Joseph’s College in New York. He is a Co-Creator of #Edchat, an award winning education discussion group on Twitter. He is an education Blogger, My Island View, as well as a Blogger for EDUTOPIA. The Qatar foundation has invited him for the past four years to participate in the WISE Conference, an International Education Conference in Doha Qatar. He hosts the weekly Edchat Radio Show on the BAM Radio Network. He created the Educator’s PLN, a global Ning site, where approximately 17,000+ educators share and collaborate daily. He is the founder of seven educational groups on LinkedIn, the largest being 17,000+ members, the Technology-Using Professors Group. He participated on The U.S. Department of Education's planning committee for Connected Educator Month since 2012. Whitby has served as a contributing Editor while developing SmartBlog on Education by SmartBrief, and has written about Social Media in Education for several national educational journals including Learning and Leading the Journal for the International Society for Technology in Education. He has presented at statewide and National and International Education Conferences, including: ASCD, ISTE, FETC, TCEA, NYSCATE, MACUL, ICE, SIIA, and several 140 Character Conferences on Social Media in Los Angeles, and New York City.

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  • Digital Citizenship

    Who Is Responsible for Tech Abuse?

    To hold kids accountable for their use of mobile devices and social media, let's accept the permanence of these tools and model instead of restricting their use.
  • Education Trends

    The Longer View: Edtech and 21st-Century Education

    A forward-thinking Baby Boomer reflects on the need to accept the opportunities offered by technology to educate the generations who embrace it.
  • Personal Learning Network

    The Connected Educator: All About Connectedness

    Six educators share the insights, changes, and rewards observed and felt during their journey from unconnectedness to connectedness.
  • Family Engagement

    Educating Parents About Education

    Many parents today have an educational perspective based on 20th century pedagogy and methodology. Teachers need to educate them about where education is now.
  • Education Trends

    How Do I Get a PLN?

    Guest blogger Tom Whitby, a 40-year veteran of the teaching profession and an extremely connected educator, offers some basic, practical wisdom about what a PLN is and how to get one.
  • Personal Learning Network

    The Connected Educator: It Begins with Collaboration

    Connected educators model collaboration, learning, and growth for their students by embracing those same qualities in their own professional development.
  • Education Trends

    Beyond the Ban: Revisiting In-School Internet Access

    Guest blogger Tom Whitby revisits why schools originally banned Internet use, explains how antiquated such bans have become, and advocates for a curriculum of Internet training and a school culture of commonsense use.
  • Technology Integration

    A Mobile Dilemma

    With mobile devices an irrevocable part of kids' lives, guest blogger Tom Whitby suggests that teachers need to become mobile-savvy as well if they hope to adequately prepare their students for success in the 21st century.
  • Education Trends

    Do Educators Really Need Blog Posts?

    Guest blogger Tom Whitby traces the history of collaborative PD from mimeos and thermo faxes to blog posts and tweets, emphasizing the importance of teachers sharing their voices, entering the dialogue, and staying relevant.
  • School Leadership

    Professional Development: More Than Just a Checkbox on a Form

    Guest blogger Tom Whitby examines how a school district's professional development decisions come down to cost, and then proposes maximizing the trend of DIY PD as a cost-effective answer to the problem.