The video I created in 2010 for the K-12 online called Sharing: The Moral Imperative remains a fairly widely used bit of content. I was proud of my efforts from a production, content and delivery perspective. Also if you want to see George Couros, before he was George Couros, have a look.
That was over six years ago. As I rewatched it, I had to ask if I feel the same today. What, if any changes would I make to this video if I were to update it?
Focusing solely on the content, I still value and believe sharing is integral to learning and our profession. My claims in the video focus mainly on efforts to share online. At the time, only a small number of educators were actively sharing content online. Blogs were beginning to take traction for some, but their value wasn’t anywhere near a universal belief. Twitter and social media opportunities were nowhere near where they are today. Twitter was seen much like Snapchat is perceived for many today.: wasteful and for posting of minutia.
My original message was to encourage and create a culture where teachers look to share their ideas, thoughts, lessons, resources … Read the rest
As someone who travels a lot, I spend lots of time observing how people react in airports. I experience my share of flight delays and other travel issues an
d almost all the time, it’s no one’s fault. Many people who don’t travel much are pretty uptight and nervous and the slightest problem can upset them. You can see it on their faces and occasionally some make a scene. Waiting in security lines or around gates you hear snark comments and lots of people questioning why things are being done “to them”. “I’m never flying <insert any airline you wish> again.” is a phrase I hear pretty regularly. When I look around at the workers, they’re almost all reasonable people. Some are very kind and caring, some fairly neutral and once in a while you met someone who doesn’t understand customer service. These people are rare. I usually feel like I’m treated well and I think most everyone is trying their best. I don’t find travel stressful but accept that stuff happens and they really are trying to make things safe. I appreciate that.
While I do travel a lot and have a decent understanding of how things work, I … Read the rest
I wasn’t completely happy with my last post. No, not because some people told me I pretty much was a loser because I was too lazy to fix my spelling, but because I don’t think I clearly articulated the difference between how publishing is different today. Here’s a hint at the analogy I tried.
I've been fortunate to be able to spend time with so many great educators. Thoughtful, reflective practitioners who are full of enthusiasm, ideas and a passion for teaching and learning. So when I pose the question (one I got from Will Richardson) "Can I find your best work online?" it usually leaves folks challenged and at times guilty.
To relieve some of that pressure, I've changed the question, to "Can I find any of your work online?" Part of the reason for rephrasing the question is to emphasize that our notions of publishing are still based in the analog world where publising meant a vetted artifact that was seen as a finished, highly refined product. Sharing online is not really about that. No one is suggesting that the old model of publishing doesn't have merits but that world is dying.
"Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away. Because the word “publishing” means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty and complexity and expense of making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button. There’s a button that says “publish,” and when you press it, it’s done." Clay Shirky
I'm going to be spending much more time this year focusing on supporting teachers with writing. While I don't have an extensive background in teaching writing outside of most classroom teachers, I am a writer. After a 1,000 blog posts, a few "traditionally" published articles, nearly 50,000 tweets, 100+ podcasts, 100+ videos and thousands of emails, I think I qualify. It may be that you do as well.
Of course the thing is, according to our curriculum you could teach students writing and never once touch a computer or publish anything online. That's not only scary but I believe it's educational malpractice. I'm not suggesting that most of our teachers don't acknowledge digital writing as something different but I'm wondering how many would even remotely understand what Will is talking about here:
The video has been resized to embed here on the blog. I recommend viewing it in full screen mode. Or if your browser doesn't render the video. Watch it here.
Show that to a writing teacher who doesn't write online.
Not only would the majority of teachers not be familiar with the tools, which isn't that important, they likely wouldn't understand how he's taking … Read the rest