You Should Read…(August 5, 2012)


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by mrsdkrebs

We are in the final week of our Australian tour and I will have to admit I am pretty tired. We have met some amazing people and I have a ton of great ideas to bring back to our school division, so I am grateful for all of the connections that I have made and the wonderful ideas that have been shared. Thanks to all of you both online and offline :)

In the spirit of sharing, here are some interesting/helpful articles that I have found this week:

1.  Do you confuse what you do with who you are? – This was a great article discussing how we often identify ourselves by the positions that we have.  I know that I often tell people that I am an educator and am extremely proud of the fact, but is there something else I should be focusing on?

What difference would it make if you responded to “What do you do?” with a slightly surprising twist? What if we started a movement of sorts and, one by one, conversation by conversation, we played a little game and each of us changed things up a bit?  It could sound something like this:

Them:  “Hi, my name is …. I am the president of XYZ Company. What do you do?”
You:  “Nice to meet you.   My name is Jack and:
“I am a terrific husband.”
“I am a proud mother.”
“I am a good friend.”
“I am absolutely content and happy!”
“Today, I am making a difference by …”

I loved this article because it has pushed my own thinking about what I do and how I define myself.  It probably will do the same for others.  How will you start the conversation the next time you introduce yourself?

2.  The Connected Educator Starter Kit – This is an extremely comprehensive document that has been shared

Whether you just dip your toe in the water by trying a few of these activities or you dive in headfirst and take advantage of this entire month-long, do-it-yourself professional learning journey, we’re sure you’ll find something to challenge you or spark your interest. This guide is separated into 31 days worth of online activities (one for each day during the month of August) to get you started into your journey as a connected educator and learner. How you use the kit is up to you.

It is a great document shared by the Powerful Learning Practice to give you some ideas of how you can take part in this event.

3.  What are the 10 secret benefits of blogging? – Blogging has been one of the best activities that I have taken part in during my career and I am a big advocate of what it can do for ourselves professionally.  This great blog post offers some great insights on what blogging can do for our own development and I believe that this is something our students should be doing.  Educators should be modelling this to our students first though and they can find some great benefits if they stick with it:

Blogging for me has been a path to not only to self expression but self fulfillment that has become a journey of self discovery. I have found what works for me and what doesn’t. I write about topics that resonate with my soul and purpose while keeping focused and relevant.

These elements combined have provided an experience that has both changed me and others around me, both in the physical and cyber world. It is an exciting time to live where you can connect to your global tribe with rich multimedia that transcends time and place.

Take a look at the 10 benefits listed in this article by the author in a wonderful post.

4.  Reddit Photographer Captures Candid Marriage Proposal – This is a great example of how the world is both extremely small and caring.  During a marriage proposal, someone caught the moment and shared the visual through social networks to see if they can find the new couple:

Joel Bush didn’t know anyone was watching when he got down on one knee to propose to Jennifer Orr. But photographer Patrick Lu happened upon the couple on the capital grounds in Austin, Texas and shared his beautiful picture to Reddit: “Did any of you propose at the capital last night?”

The post made it to the top of /r/Austin with 1,400 up votes (the highest of all time in that subreddit), and Redditors offered many suggestions on how to locate the mystery couple…

“I felt Reddit was the only place where a post like this could generate enough exposure,” Patrick Lu, the photographer, tells Mashable. “Austin is actually a growing haven for tech companies and startups, and I had a gut feeling that the couple worked somewhere in that space (the man was wearing flip flops and jeans, and that’s like a uniform for us programmers these days). With a lot of techies, you have a lot of Redditors. I figured someone would have recognized them eventually.”

Although Reddit has some negative examples of social media, it is these cool stories that also need to be highlighted.

As a final share, I just wanted to share this hilarious video on the infectious Gotye song.  It is not something that may be relevant to schools, but it is just pretty funny.  I hope you get a laugh out of it!  Have a great week!

  • kturley

    So glad I had the chance to meet you and learn from you at CEGSA2012. The workshops of twitter and blogging have inspired me to begin my own connected learning journey. I was just looking at my blog that has been up for three weeks and was very excited to look at where the visitors had come from 12 countries including USA, Canada, Indonesia and even Camodia. As an adult this excited me so I and only imagine how real the connection would be for students to realise that their blogs are being read worldwide.
    Thank you for sharing your stories both in person and online. I look forward to continuing the learning on line. And I love the Gotye video but no Bieber!

    • georgecouros

      That is awesome :) What is the link? I would like to follow!Sent from my iPhone

  • http://34mk2012.global2.vic.edu.au Mary

    Thanks for a great post George. From starting a class blog 3 months go to being a full on twitter convert, I have learnt so much from your many posts and tweets and I am grateful to the friend of a friend who first forwarded me one of your posts! Don't underestimate the enormous influence you are having in connecting people and giving me the confidence to be innovative and take risks to seek better student outcomes.
    Sorry to have missed you in Aus but maybe one day!
    Cheers!
    Mary @Mj0401Mary

  • kturley

    I think you might already have followed me @kathturley and blog is http://www.kathyturley.wordpress.com
    I do have a colleague who has just posted an interesting blog comment from a parent at our school about technology and kids and how to find the balance. I know she would love you to read and comment on it. She has just started her blogging journey!

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