We Are What We Share

We are what we share. And what we read. And what we do after we share what we read. This goes for adults in the world of course, but in an age where our youth are being born with devices in their faces (and eventually their hands) this goes for them too. If we are in fear of using and/or outright blocking social media and personal devices in our schools how in the world do we expect our youth to share quality resources, important content, and care enough to post things that matter to them locally and globally if they aren’t getting real practice in the place they are 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 187 days a year? My morning started with this post from Seth Godin’s Blog.

As I read, I couldn’t help but think about a project my friend Daniel and I and 25 young people worked on 2 summers ago called Youth Converts Culture. We learned a lot about each other, from each other and with each other. We discovered content and created content and spent a lot of time sharing it face to face and online because it mattered deeply to us. We wrote a manifesto that will forever live online and is still extremely relevant today. We made mistakes along the way but every individual, adults included, grew into more developed citizens living out loud in the physical and digital world. I am proud of what we shared that summer and confident the actions I take daily reflect those choices to post.

Godin argues for us to not just share what care about, but also to do something about it after we’ve posted. All I’m asking for is the space for students to be able to do the same. If you’re doing this with students in your classrooms please create a hashtag, engage with an authentic audience, trust your students to share things in class and online that they care about and want to do something about. Provide the space and support in life and online and see what happens. We live in a connected world, lets start preparing and supporting connected learners as connected educators. They might just surprise you and share more about social justice and positive change than selfies.

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A Millennial Educator’s List of New Years Resolutions for the 2015 Year of Learning

  • Put the people, partnerships, and possibilities of better first, always. Then projects. Then technology. Then Twitter.
  • Model radical vulnerability and transparency in the classroom, in the community, in the coffee shop,  in the tiny purple ed tech coach office. Be a person, not a teacher/principal/job title.
  • Keep on talking (and tweeting) about all the things — but really work on listening more. Listen to more student voices, listen to more teacher voices; become an empathetic listener of the learning revolution. None of us are alone — let’s stop acting like we are and start with really trying to hear what others are saying.
  • Amplify the voices. Use the head and heart to get more people talking about what matters, use the technology to get more people listening.
  • Intensify the why of it all. There is so much potential for so much more in so many. A little more emphasis and intensity won’t hurt. Keep amping it up. Keep sharing things that make you pumped!
  • Co-create spaces where real learning is happening and is owned by the learner — not the lecturer. Genuine leaders of their own learning. Life hack the classroom. Real voice. Real choice. Real learning.
  • Jam out whilst having a few more tiny purple office dance parties to celebrate the small wins. Small wins matter and they deserve jams, dance moves, and instagram posts. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of a little better.
  • Jump a little more. Take a few more leaps rather than checking out all the awesome possibilities from the ledge.
  • Keep asking why. A whole lot more asking why. Finding why. And acting on why.
  • Make more things (mistakes included). Model failure. Model trying again. And again. Write more things. Share more things. Support students and teachers in doing the same — over and over again until we get somewhere else. Lessons learned are not steps in the wrong direction if we’re actually learning.
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2015 Ed Tech Coach mantra for 2015 courtesy of Kennedy Prints.