My name is Beth Still. I am one of the lucky people that Wes asked to guest blog this week while he is taking a well deserved vacation with his family. I wrote this post which focuses on social networking for Leadership Day 2009. I hope this example sparks some conversation.
The first time I heard of Leadership Day was last year. I had only just started blogging and felt like there was not much I could contribute.
isn't that the way it usually is with newbie bloggers? The problem is we're looking at what we do with an eye to the awesome, the incredible, not realizing that what is commonplace to us, what is real IS what is incredible and awesome to others. Blogging--and the reflection it engenders--enables us to recapture that wonder when we first began something and realized this was something worth doing again and again...until the wonderful becomes commonplace. Wouldn't it be great if education was like that? The wonderful happens every day and we see it for that. - post by mguhlin
In April I decided to test the power of my favorite social networking site, Twitter. I wanted to see if it was possible for the few hundred people in my network to work together to do something good for someone. I decided to ask for donations to help send a teacher to NECC. I asked Richard Byrne to be to the “newbie” and he gladly agreed. Within two weeks we met the $1500 goal. My plan had worked!
Stop and think for a minute about the implications that this has on learning. I am a teacher in rural western Nebraska who was able to make a difference because of my personal learning network. I was able to help send a teacher from Maine to a technology conference in Washington DC. People who knock social networking need to hear this story.
Can you imagine a student at your school harnessing the power of Twitter to change the world? I would like to ask you to start looking into the positive aspect of social networking. Teachers and students who are networked have so many more learning opportunities each day. No less than 99% of my professional learning takes place on Twitter.
Would school administrators approach this insight--about 99% of professional learning takes place on Twitter--with fear about their own efforts in K-12 districts to change the status quo, or will they embrace it? But if you embrace Twitter and the quicksilver moment of learning, aren't you relinquishing the command-and-control structure that has characterized education all these years, the sage on the stage, the might of the administrator in his authority? - post by mguhlin