#iteachmsu Commons: CONNECT

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What is the #iteachmsu Commons?

The #iteachmsu Commons is a digital space built for educators by educators with the historic support of the Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development, The Graduate School, and The Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation. On such a large campus, it can be difficult to elevate and celebrate the high-impact practices of the wide educator community that exists across MSU. To address this challenge, the #iteachmsu Commons provides an educator-driven space for sharing teaching resources, connecting across educator networks, and growing teaching practice.

It’s important to us to draw your attention to this expansion of the definition of “educator”. At #iteachmsu “educator” certainly include in-class instructors, but is intentionally much broader to include anyone who contributes to teaching and learning, student success, and/or outreach missions of the university (including but not limited to Graduate Teaching Assistants, Undergraduate Learning Assistants, instructional designers, academic advisors, librarians, coaches, etc.). While iteach.msu.edu is public, meaning anyone can visit the site and read the content that’s shared, the primary audience is MSU educators and the platform’s scope focuses on building a sense of community through not only sharing resources, but ideas, questions, and celebrations too! There are multiple ways that the platform functionality can support connecting with others in the MSU community and build relationships within MSU's large decentralized structure. It’s a space to have asynchronous “watercooler” conversations, that we all know are so valuable to our professional practice and personal growth. You can read more about the design of the #iteachmsu Commons in Professional Development — For Educators, By Educators.

At its core, the #iteachmsu Commons is built of three primary norms and practices:

  • We value a diverse community and inclusive language, interactions, and practices. We’re all here to learn.
  • We believe in the power and importance of sharing responsibly.
  • This is a learning community built by members, for members.

For more information, visit the full set of #iteachmsu Community Norms and Practices.

How do I connect on www.iteach.msu.edu?

On the #iteachmsu Commons home page, you’ll see a button in the upper right hand corner that says “login”. After logging in with your MSU NetID (the same information you’d use for D2L or SpartanMail), check out the Getting Started playlist. This curated resource is a quick guide to the basic ways you can navigate the #iteachmsu Commons. From here you have a few options! You can browse, join, or even start your own #iteachmsu Groups. Groups are intended to be spaces to organize around topics, share specific subsets of information, and connect with others. Groups offer similar functionality as iteach.msu.edu as a whole, but to a limited audience. You can have threaded conversations in a group feed, share articles to a specific group, and even curate group playlists! There are over 20 public groups on iteach.msu.edu today. See if there’s one that interests you and then see who else is there to build your personal educator network. You can also connect directly with other #iteachmsu educators by browsing for people, reading profiles, and clicking “connect”. Once connected, you can direct message another user through the platform! While you’re at it, take a look at who authored or posted the articles you have found most interesting. They would be great people to connect with!

We hope you’ll join us in what has become a large movement recognizing teaching and learning work across MSU by taking up the hashtag, recognizing your fellow educators, and joining the #iteachmsu Commons!

Thank an Educator

The #iteachmsu Commons is also home to the Thank an Educator initiative. Established in 2018, this initiative recognizes those individuals today to 1) help demonstrate the diversity of educators across roles on campus, 2) help individuals recognize their contributions to MSU as that of an “educator” and embrace their educator identity, and 3) celebrate the amazing individuals we have shaping the learning experiences and success of students on our campus.

How to recognize someone for their educator impact is simple. Visit the #iteachmsu Thank an Educator page and fill out the simple form to recognize an educator you know- including a short statement of gratitude to recognize the positive contributions of fellow Spartans that have made a lasting impacts on teaching and learning at MSU. The #iteachmsu team uses the information submitted to send them a note of thanks via email! Additionally, those individuals who are submitted, are annually recognized with the #iteachmsu Educator Award through the Provost’s Office.

Anyone at MSU can submit a thank you- and there is no limit to the number of educators that can be thanked. Read more about the role of Gratitude in a Culture of Care. The #iteachmsu Commons also regularly features stories that have graciously been shared with us by educators who were recognized via the Thank an Educator Initiative. You can see all the articles of previously featured educators by joining the Educator Stories group!

Thank an educator today!