People are often muddied by the waters of technology believing that all of the learning that happens through social media is either about technology or, more specifically, social media itself. There is so much that I have learned about the areas of leadership, assessment, school culture, pedagogy, and a host of other topics that have both personal and professional meaning. I have learned about them through strictly informational sites but I have also learned a lot through the people that I have connected with. There is so many opportunities for learning out there that many would not even know where to begin. That is one of the reasons I try to provide this summary of some of the posts that I have read. Here are a few this week:
1. To learn or not to learn, that is the question – Kathryn Kindrat, one of the participants of Parkland School Division’s Learning Leader Project, writes her final reflection about the program and shares how sometimes the technology can be overwhelming. She also discusses the importance of focusing in on learning a few specific things, not trying to learn everything:
My challenge to you, a challenge that I have also given myself, is to successfully implement three new technology related tools in your classroom next year, then share your successes/challenges with your school and the division through PD and blogging/Twitter. In order to successfully implement a few, it is likely that you will need to experiment with many; this phase has already started. The great thing, is that none of us have to do it alone!
The cool thing about the learning leader project is that through the reflections that the participants had, I as the facilitator learned a great deal myself. The David Weinberger quote that “the smartest person in the room is the room”, holds true in this case.
2. How To Change an Organization – I personally have talked about the importance of school culture, but in this Leadership Freak post, the author discusses the importance of leadership and the types of climates that they create:
Culture but how? If you want to change an organization – grow new leaders.
Manville said, “The most successful organizational culture changes I’ve seen were framed as leadership development programs.
Cultures change when:
- You catalyze new kinds of leadership.
- More and more people take leadership.”
Brook said, “The king and subject model doesn’t change cultures.”Great leaders don’t change people; they create environments where people change themselves.
3. Ways to use Facebook Effectively in Class – I am all for using social media in schools although I do believe that “friending” students is not good practice. With that being said, this is a great article on some ways that you can use a social network that is used by almost a billion people in the world.
Facebook as a communication platform can be used to present ideas, for online discussions, to share interesting and relevant material — including websites, video and images — and as a way for educators to connect with their students.
There is concern from school administrators and teachers that connecting to students online may have more detrimental effect than benefit — due to inappropriate communication or content, privacy exploitation or cyberbullying. However, if the correct strictures are put in place and content is monitored, then social media can become a valuable an interactive teaching tool.
To finish, I would like to share this awesome Nike video. I think the idea of “stories” are so powerful, and sites like YouTube provide such a great opportunity to share these stories that move people to make a difference in their own lives or the lives of others.
I hope you have a great week!