If it ‘takes a village’ to raise a child, it takes a network to cultivate a service program.
Twitter is an incredible tool for networking and nourishing our understanding of the concerns of our global village. Twitter allows us to join movements, to use our tools for awareness and change. Twitter allows us to connect and expand, like this example courtesy of Blog Action Day:
Twitter also allows us to follow along with Malala Yousafzai’s continued journey in real time:
Hashtags are becoming part of our social activism toolkit:
The other thing I will add is that Twitter specifically has been interesting because we’re able to get feedback and responses in real time. If we think about this as community building, and we think of community building as a manifestation of love, and we think about love being about accountability, and accountability about justice, what’s interesting is that Twitter has kept us honest. There’s a democracy of feedback. I’ve had really robust conversations with people who aren’t physically in the space, but who have such great ideas. And that’s proven to be invaluable. (read full text here) ‘Hashtag Activism Isn’t a Cop-Out’ by NOAH BERLATSKY
New to twitter and interested in following others passionate about service learning?
“Why is it that some schools embrace new ideas, while others consider them distractions? Why do some teachers roll up their sleeves, while others simply roll their eyes?”
Great question. Schools that make time for ideas, value vision, and foster disruption are healthier places to learn. The problem is, if that mindset is missing, you won’t always recognize the void. If you rush through your lunch, chances are, you aren’t pausing to try and identify the spices and herbs used in preparing your meal. While that level of gustatory reflection isn’t necessary every single day, it’s probably a reasonable idea to stop and taste the turmeric now and then.
So how do we know how idea-rich we are?
Here are five questions to help you ‘cleanse your palate’ and review your school’s ability to cook with ideas:
1. When dealing with a problem, what is the tone of your team? Do people trust in one another to strategize? Or, is there cynicism, chaos, and fear?
2. How long does it take an idea to travel? Are new ideas brought to key leaders quickly? Or, are there only specific times people feel they can make suggestions?
3. Think back to the last time you had a collegial conversation about doing something differently. Would you categorize that conversation as more of a ‘yes, and’ conversation, or more of a ‘no, but’ conversation?
4. How often do middle or senior leaders ‘pick the brains’ of members of the faculty? Does this happen both formally and informally?
5. Consider the members of your immediate team, faculty, or department. Can you list at least one book/article/person/podcast/resource/conference that has inspired them within the past month? If you can’t, do you feel like you can start that conversation?
What else should we ask ourselves about our ideation principles?
Please feel free to suggest better questions in the comment section below.
Thank you, Flickr for the Creative Commons Images featured here:
As far as spaces go, twitter is a great place for educators.
Over the past decade, Twitter has become a 24/7 space for professional development. Twitter is a place to share, curate, and develop resources. It has allowed teachers everywhere to have access to experts anywhere.
One of my favorite applications is the Twitter Chat. Connecting in real time, or sometimes via a #slowchat (see an example of that here) has shifted the way we ‘do’ professional development. If you think a conversation needs to happen, you can curate that discussion.
Here are ten steps to getting involved with a Twitter Chat, and then…initiating your very own:
1. Lurk and Learn
There is no shortage of professional chats happening. Take a look. Read through archived chats, and observe. The #cpchat (connected principals chat) is an interesting hashtag to follow for school leadership teams. The chats are not as regular as other chats, but the hashtag curates wonderful resources by the hour. Here is an example of a question from a #cpchat Twitter chat:
There are two important things to notice:
a) in any Twitter chat, you need to use the ‘#’ to tag your Tweet within the conversation
b) @TonySinanis starts his Tweet here with ‘Q1,’ which stands for ‘Question 1.’
In the response, you’ll see that @Joesanfelippofc has responded with both the #cpchat AND he starts his Tweet with ‘A1’ standing for ‘Answer 1.’
Participate.com allows you to have a more tailored search for resources shared during chats. It is a great tool for exploring the weekly #satchat (Saturday Chat), and digging into the archived discussions.
By selecting ‘chats,’ then ‘see all chats’ you will have access to a calendar of chats happening each day:
3. Go with the flow
By using Tweetdeck, Tweetchat, or Hootsuite--you’ll be able to sip from the specified feed, rather than drink from the firehose of your entire feed.
If you aren’t ready to try a public chat, or you want to practice hosting your own chat privately, Today’s Meet is a great way to have a ‘training wheels’ approach to open chats.
4. Bring a friend
No, really. Invite a peer to ‘go with.’ If you are new to chats, it will be helpful to have someone you know in the space. Networking is networking wherever you are, IRL or online. Having one familiar face will help you feel more comfortable–and it will be great to have a colleague to debrief with later on.
5. Google Keep
Just like any other meeting/workshop/discussion, it is a great idea to bring notes to have at the ready AND to have another space to collect thoughts on. Google Keep is perfect for collaborative notes and/or to do lists. It will be too trying to look for links during a chat. I recommend having a few resources, quotes, links ready to go on a Google Keep note before the chat begins.
6. Extend invitations
Build a Twitter List (here’s how) of people who would be interested in a chat you’d like to host. Take the time to personally invite at least 20 people. Here’s a sample chat invite:
Notice that the invitation has tagged other #’s where there might be an overlap in interest. This is good, but nothing substitutes for a personalized invite. Take the extra step and let people know exactly when the chat is happening in their time zone (this tool helps with that).
As the day and time for the chat nears, remind people. Two of my favorite tools to build Twitter-friendly signage are Canva and Adobe Spark (the image at the top of this post is something I put together with Adobe Spark in two quick minutes).
8. Get the questions out there early
Providing access to the chat’s questions in advance will allow participants to put more thought into their answers. It will also allow people to track down resources in advance. Lastly, it will encourage them to invite other people in.
Click here to have a look at a list of recently explored questions during this #edtechchat meetup.
Some moderators will even provide an exact time for questions to be prompted, here’s an example of that style.
9. Curate the conversation
Once the chat is over, it isn’t really over. Blog about it, archive or use Storify to frame the chat.
10. Always say thank you
Be sure that participants feel appreciated. Every educator is stretched for time. When people carve out an hour to chat, make sure they know their time was valued. If you are participating in someone else’s chat, thank the moderator(s).
Thanks so much @ZeinaChalich. Great chat! Discussing the Digital Classroom is no longer optional. It’s the present not the future. #aussieED
A five-minute walk from the rickety, raised track that carries the 5 train through the Bronx, the English teacher Argos Gonzalez balanced a rounded metal bowl on an outstretched palm. His class—a mix of black and Hispanic students in their late teens, most of whom live in one of the poorest districts in New York City—by now were used to the sight of this unusual object: a Tibetan meditation bell. (via The Atlantic’s “When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom”)
Mindfulness, flow, wellness, character-education.
Today’s schools seek to do more than merely prepare students to do….well, more study. Faculties now invest both time and money in preparing students for days when (as David Foster Wallace once declared here) ‘the work of choosing’ will come.
So, how are we preparing learners for the longest haul imaginable?
Aspirations need feedback loops. And feedback loops require resources and networks.
After doing some research, I’ve compiled a list of great people to follow on Twitter, and a few corners to lurk in. But this post is a call to action: please comment with more people to connect with, and other places to look. I hope this post will start a conversation on the role Twitter and Blogging can play in our aims to better develop our schools as empires of wellness.