I’m not really in a position to understand all that’s happening over at Twitter. I mean I realize Elon Musk bought it and seems to have the desire to change the platform and many feel it will either implode or turn into something they don’t want to support. But I don’t yet have an opinion. It’s partly because I’m not sure I care.
That might sound weird for someone that was around for as long as anyone I know. I joined the platform in January 2007. It was barely 6 months old. There was no such thing as social media or at least we didn’t call it that. Twitter was a major accelerator for network building for me. But as this all was happening, most of us had no understanding or intentionality of how we would use it. We were a bunch of educators playing around. I say educators because, at the time, that’s about all we’d see. The first 3-5 years of Twitter were the glory years for me. I created a network and made friends. This is one of the first things I wrote about Twitter. It was mysterious. It was innocent. It was fun. This post sums … Read the rest
Having held the title of “Community Manager” and been directly involved in this work for a decade, you’d think I’d know more about the topic. The truth is I’ve been searching for a framework, structure or maybe a magic bullet the whole time. By many accounts and metrics, I’ve had success in this role. I can think of all the events, relationships and connections that I’ve made and fostered and feel pretty good. And yet, I still struggle with how to articulate what community really is and how it can be created, designed and how to grow and nurture it.
I suppose it’s much like teaching. Yes, there are many frameworks and strategies that can be useful ways to think about teaching but the reality is, teaching in schools is really about connecting with humans and that is something that comes with uncertainty and variables that are very difficult to control.
My current role with ALP includes a continued pursuit of building and creating community. It’s always a challenge to explain this to those inside the education world, let alone those outside it. I continually reflect on things that have worked for me and others. When I engage others in … Read the rest
As much as I love the ability to connect with current practitioners and other smart folks around innovative and interesting ideas in education, we have a wealth of knowledge that lives in the recent and more distant past that is often overlooked. The bombardment of “new” through current media offerings tends to overshadow the truths that have been shared, considered and proven over decades and centuries.
When it comes to understanding media and communications, there are no better thinkers out there than Neil Postman and Marshall McLuhan. If you’re reading this and have never heard of these men, I would highly encourage you to seek out their writings.
‘What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.‘
I suppose some might not be able to see the connection between television and the Internet and while there certainly are differences, I found the parallels to be glaring. Without doing a full review here, I simply … Read the rest
After spending a few weeks looking at the visitor vs resident notions it became clear today why it’s such a big deal. During a unconference today in Halifax a group of teachers were discussing and exploring Project Based Learning. Specifically one of the participants had been looking at the Buck Institute’s resources and for implementing PBL. I told them as a kind of “fun fact” that I knew the latest consultant and that she happened to be from Canada. While that fact was mildly interesting I realized what would be more significant would be a more formal introduction. I messaged Shelley who happened to be online and she agreed to an impromptu session with this group. Within minutes she was sharing with them her own story and some advice for beginners. While the day was filled with lots of resource and idea sharing, the most impactful moment was sharing and finding new people.
I’ve been saying for a long time that the old adage, “If you leave a conference with one or two ideas you can use in your classroom right away you’ve done well” is not nearly as good as “if you leave here with one or two people … Read the rest
John Pederson is a fan of asking “Who has your attention?” I would add to that and say, “Stop looking for great resources and start looking for great people”. I have no shortage of great people in my life many of whom are well known people in education and technology. But I love to share and find hidden gems, people that you may not be paying attention to but ought to. Here are three:
Darren actually is fairly well known as a great presenter, storyteller, Math teacher and inventor of the Scribe Post. But lately he’s been doing something that’s inspired me in a few different ways and you may not be familiar with what he’s been up to. After many discussions around the challenge of blogging, Darren has been playing with an app called Social Cam and has been using it to offer daily or almost daily reflections of his learning called “While Walking”. Not only are these often provocative ideas that has enabled him to practice active reflection but it’s helped make him stronger connections in his local community. I’ve used this tool now a few times and have plans to incorporate it into our … Read the rest