During a presentation or while conversing, people will often ask me how being on a tool like Twitter or LinkedIn can help educators improve their craft. Providing concrete examples to people will help them see the power of being a connected educator. I also emphasize the importance of differentiating the way people obtain and share best practice resources. In the end, the more educators share ideas and information, the more student success will be impacted. Here is an example of the sharing process....
I follow Derek McCoy, school leader from North Carolina, on LinkedIn. Early one morning before getting ready for work I scrolled through my LinkedIn feed and came across a great resource that Derek shared. It was a blog post written by John Spencer titled 8 Ways to Keep Informational Text Engaging. I was so impressed with its content that I decided to tweet it to my followers. I then proceeded to put it in my weekly email blast to staff called the Bulldog Bulletin that is chock full of best practice resources. The hope here is that my PLN and fellow colleagues will continue to share out this wonderful blog post by John Spencer. As I said earlier in this post, sharing is contagious and will ultimately impact the success of students.
Another example relates to our district's transition to Google Classroom. Alice Keeler, an adjunct, author, and edtech guru from California, consistently puts out great content related to GAFE on her blog titled Teacher Tech. I use a service called Feedly that stores all my blog subscriptions which can be accessed through an app I have on my iPhone. On a weekly basis I will got to Alice's blog through Feedly knowing that she will have timely and relevant content related to GAFE. I can then share her content on my various social media feeds and with my colleagues. In the long run it helps everyone stay current and helps integrate the various tools students use in the most efficient way possible.
So what do you say? Take a few moments each day to consume and share best practice resources. It will make all of us better educators in the long run and push our students to places once thought inimaginable. As the old adage says: Connect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.
Brad Currie is the author of All Hands on Deck: Tools for Connecting Educators, Parents, and Communities. He is one of the founding partners of Evolving Educators LLC. Brad is a 2014 ASCD Emerging Leader and Google Certified Trainer. He currently serves as a K-8 Supervisor of Instruction and Dean of Students for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. Learn more about Brad by following him on Twitter @bradmcurrie or visiting his website at www.bradcurrie.net.