“If you create something and don’t share it, you’re being selfish.”
That line — really, that word “selfish” — hit me in the ears like a hammer.
The teaching world has changed in 10, even five years. More importantly, the mindset of “collect my best ideas in a file in my classroom” is slowly being destroyed.
We have powerful, free tools that help educators share and gather great ideas:
- They’re sharing ideas and discussing them through blogs.
- Conference attendees are distributing powerful quotes, links and ideas through Twitter and shared digital notes.
- Educators are collecting their best ideas and publishing them in ebooks through Amazon’s Kindle, iBooks and more.
- Webinars, screencasts, tutorials and speeches are being recorded and uploaded to YouTube.
[RELATED: Tech Tuesday screencast: Twitter for teachers]
There’s one thing teachers can do to make this unprecedented collaborative community more powerful.
Share everything — ideas, philosophies, practices, tools.
Share everywhere — short messages on Twitter, articles on blogs, full books on Amazon or iBooks.
Share in every medium — written form, audio (podcasts), video (screencasts, YouTube).
Share all the time — during the school year when you’re in the midst of it AND during the summer when you’re recharging and considering the coming school year.
And ditch the excuses. The education community online is very much an example of the 80/20 rule — 80 percent of the content is created by 20 percent of users, and vice versa.
“I don’t understand how this sharing thing works.” Pick a medium that fits your style (see list of tools above) and try it. Twitter is an easy way to get involved. Set up an account, search the #edchat hashtag and start following teachers and sharing ideas you like.
“I don’t have anything of value to share.” Not true. Every teacher ‘s perspective is different, colored by location, personal experiences, content area, successes and failures. People love to read about real examples from the classroom. Any teacher can set up a simple blog, describe what works for him or her, post some photos and share it with the world.
“I don’t have time to do any of this.” Start small. Write a short blog post every week (or every two weeks) about your classroom successes or musings about education in general. Follow some educators on Twitter and check it for five minutes whenever you get a chance. Record a quick video where you describe and demonstrate your best ideas and upload it.
Just start. Just do it.
Someone shared with you early in your career, and it helped you a ton.
Pay it forward. Create and share.
Because creating without sharing is selfish.