Educators have been creating amazing teaching tools and models for years and years and teachers have always been encouraged to share those materials and ideas with other educators. Many school divisions now have online resources where they encourage teachers to share their ideas for instruction and assessment by posting them, an example being North East School Division’s Curriculum Corner.
So why is it that some educators are so reluctant to participate in the active sharing of their ideas? Is it because they don’t want to have their work critiqued by someone else? Are they afraid that what they have done isn’t good enough or interesting enough? Because I would encourage those people to read this great blog post called What’s Obvious to You, is Amazing to Someone Else by Richard Byrne. And if you don’t have time to read that article just yet, just take a couple of minutes and watch this YouTube video that is included in his post:
Or is the reluctance to share great ideas because teachers want to hold onto their OWN lessons so that they can look amazing, all on their own? Is it a bit of selfishness? Because for those people, I would wonder if all of their “own” fabulous lessons and plans were not borrowed or at least built upon an existing idea already.
A couple of weeks ago Dean Shareski gave a presentation on Sharing and the idea that it is our ethical duty to share and contribute to a larger community of educators. This was his Slideshare presentation:
As a relative newbie to Twitter, I am constantly amazed and humbled by the sheer amount of brilliant sharing that goes on with resources, ideas, links and conversation. I am proud to be part of a community of learners who believe that collaboration is so incredibly important and I hope that more educators are encouraged to become connected and part of the global sharing that takes place. As a substitute teacher I am fortunate that I am exposed to many, many different schools and I get to talk to many educators and administrators. It actually surprises me how few of the educators in our area seem to be connected via Twitter. I hope that as we continue talking to our colleagues and providing information, education and support, that we see more people get on-board.
When my friend Katie was quite young and had started learning to play the piano, she was attempting to master a very well-known piece of music by a well known Canadian musician. Since I can’t remember exactly what piece it was, I am going to take some artistic license here and pretend that it was The Homecoming by Hagood Hardy. (Yes, Katie, I know. It’s incorrect. But it serves the story well, even if it is a semi-fictional account.)
As luck would have it, Katie ended up at an occasion in the company of Mr. Hardy, a piano, and her parents. Her parents INSISTED that she play the Homecoming for Mr. Hardy. Katie still talks about how nervous she was, having to perform such a beautiful piece of music for the man who had written and recorded it.
When I initially told Mr. Shareski, our instructor for ECMP355, that I was planning on learning how to build and implement a Webquest, he put me in touch with Bernie Dodge, who is the creator of the Webquest model and a Professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University, using Twitter. I think I know how Katie felt, a little bit. I am nervous that I won’t do this justice. I know that I must contact Mr. Dodge because this is an amazing opportunity to network with someone who is a visionary and who could provide valuable feedback.
I am making good progress, I think, starting to really think about the Webquest Taxonomy and what elements I will try to incorporate into the quest. I have been using Google Sites for my Webquest and have found a template that has a general outline of each of the sections of the Webquest, so I’m trying to stick pretty closely to those while also referring to Mr. Dodge’s website as well.
It’s time for me to play The Homecoming. I pledge that by this time next week I will have gotten up the nerve to contact Mr. Dodge. You can hold me to that.
You know that dream? The one where you find yourself in front of a bunch of people doing a presentation or at a party and you realize you’re naked? If you haven’t had it, you’ve probably at least heard of it.
I realized yesterday that that’s a little bit like how I feel about blogging. I only have a few blogs but found the nerve to post the URL on Twitter and a few minutes late I noticed that my instructor for my ECMP355 class, Dean Shareski had retweeted my post to several thousand of his followers. I have to admit that I felt a bit nauseated. Blogging has made me experience a new level of discomfort. A lot of vulnerability. Very open to judgment and criticism. I think these are good things for me. They are making me think things through thoroughly before hitting “Publish” and they are giving me a chance for a professional and personal audience that I haven’t ever had, opening dialogue with and inviting interaction with other people. I’ve never been a risk-taker. This is risky for me.
We were asked to start our blog as part of our ECMP355 class and all of my classmates and I have done so. I want to know if I’m the only one who is feeling this way. Don’t get me wrong. I love to talk and to engage and to discuss and to debate, so this is going to be really fun, I think. I just wonder if you ever get comfortable – like REALLY comfortable – doing it. If you have a minute, please answer this quick survey: