Kathy Turley asked me the following question last night on Twitter:
— kathy turley (@kathturley) August 16, 2012
So as I thought on what would be a good discussion piece, one of the first videos that came to mind was the “Learning to Change, Changing to Learn” video:
I decided to watch it again, although I have seen it several times, but then I noticed something that really threw me off.
The date it was uploaded.
May 15, 2008.
This was uploaded over four years ago (although I am not sure that this was the original upload date) and I just thought about what I thought as a teacher in 2008. Although I was an advocate of technology, the idea of “Twitter” and “cell phones” was unbelievably foreign to me and the ideas in this video would have been crazy. Actually, they wouldn’t have been crazy as much as they just wouldn’t have made any sense.
In this video, that was uploaded at a time where a high school student could have went to university and fully completed their education degree, their is a discussion of how social media and cell phones (at about 0:34) are actually banned in schools. I just completed a trip where the majority of schools banned both social media and the use of cell phones in schools. Not just some, but most.
This was posted four years ago.
But if you asked me four years ago about banning these sites, honestly, I would have agreed that would be what is best for kids. When this video did come out, I didn’t see it for maybe two years after? Maybe two years after. Although I would say that at the time
So, as I thought about what I did four years ago, and where schools are at now, I started to wonder how often do we share and discuss these videos with our own staff. For the second time this week, I am going to reference Tom Whitby’s post on the “Connected Conundrum”, where he ponders how many educators have not adapted to the changing ways of our world:
We are not a profession of connected educators. We are content experts with access to content that we are not accessing. We are advocates of ideas with the ability to share ideas that we are not sharing. We are creators without using the ability we have to create for an authentic audience of millions who could benefit by our creations. We fight for the status quo of comfort and compliance. This doesn’t make sense to many of you — those of us who are connected.
A touch of guilt went through me as I thought about how I have been such a huge advocate of all of these amazing ways to learn with so many people outside of my school district, but maybe not so much the people that I work most closely with. I think I, like many others though, have felt that insecurity of being perceived as a “nut” to the people that I work closest with. That if I bring this up, I will just get weird looks and here subtle jokes about being a “twit”.
But then I think, is this just a matter of “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Until my exposure to this world, as stated earlier, I wouldn’t have known any of this. Once I started using Twitter (on my second attempt), my world and views on learning and education changed dramatically.
Isn’t it worth taking a video that is four years old, and sharing it with the people we work closest with, and discussing it? The one thing that I struggle with in regards to being a connected educator and using social media, is how quickly we move on from “awesome”. We read a post one day, and it is an amazing piece of work, but the next day, we just move on to the next video, blog post, or whatever. We need to continue to talk about the great stuff that resonates with us.
So, here is my suggestion.
Watch the “Learning to Change” video, with whomever you work with, point out the date of when it was uploaded, talk about it, discuss where you are in this journey, and talk about where you are going to be this year. Talk about what things you need to get rid of sooner than later (banning mobile devices, blocks on social media, etc.) and then talk about the things you will need to be successful (professional development, support, time, more professional development, hardware, etc.).
Don’t let this video still be visionary four years from now. Expose it to those who maybe “stuck” and talk about it and figure out how to move forward.