There is a power in being connected. I think each and every educator should be on social media learning and sharing. We need to hear everyone’s voice. Then there is reality.
Talk to any educator and ask them how they are balancing the increasing demands of teacher evaluation, student growth objectives, transition to the common core, discipline, poverty, assessment, data, and the list goes on and on…. I’ve been asked, “So now you want me to get on twitter?” Hmmm, really good question. Sure, I want you to, but I would never mandate it… You have to want it!
Here are some things that I will say about the laundry list of initiatives that are legitimate concerns (There are only so many hours in a day)…. Ask yourself these questions about your current list of initiatives in your classrooms, school, or district:
- Are these initiatives making learning better?
- Are these initiatives making students more engaged? Better prepared for the 21st Century?
- Are these initiatives making you better?
Well, if they are … great! If not, I would highly recommend that you see what everyone else is learning in the connected world….
Check out this presentation I did today to help educators learn more about becoming connected
I really like Animoto. Since learning about it last spring, I committed to using it each month (sometimes more if necessary).
My goal is to take all of the pictures and videos from the RM Bacon Weekly and put it into the Animoto. This way, we can reflect each month on all of the things we accomplished. One of the best features of Animoto is that it is super easy to use and it is free for educators!
It is paramount to tell your classroom, school or district’s story! Animoto is an effective and easy-to-use tool to help you accomplish this task!
Checkout the October Rewind
photo by Stephanie Muhlbaier
I am amazed every year how the interest in Halloween grows (and I am not just talking kids). The lead up to Halloween is filled with excitement, costume planning, scary movies, and lots of activities. Kids and adults spend time in corn mazes, haunted hayrides, and carving pumpkins. In schools, we generally have activities that coincide with the lead up to Halloween.
In our school, planning for the Fall Frolic and Halloween Parade begins in the summer. We select dates, chairs for each of the committees, and people volunteer to begin making decorations. It is serious community engagement. We average between 400 – 450 people each Frolic, and about 100 parents at our parade. In fact, I would say that the Halloween activities at our school are the top opportunities for parent and community engagement.
Each year we continue to top ourselves. We try new things, and work to make it a better experience for the kids. As parents and students leave the Halloween events they are so thankful, appreciative, and report such positive comments about the events. They love seeing the hard work from the staff. They love our energy, and how serious we take it.
I stumbled across this video (as did about 12 million other people). I am not a musician, but I appreciate music. In fact, my son is currently studying the drums and often plays the xylophone.
When you first watch this video, I am sure you will wonder why I posted it (or better yet, why did they spend so much time setting this thing up just to play a song), but the meaning is much deeper.
What do you think?
The definition of organizational insanity is doing the same things over and over while expecting different results. As leaders, we have to challenge ourselves all the time to ensure that we are not on the revolving door of organizational insanity. For instance, leaders tend to put systems in place to ensure that all of the various requirements are completed (usually these are completed by others). We then do a “systems” check on the processes to determine if they are effective. When these systems become ineffective or breakdown, we seek ways to solve the problem. We then implement a new system (or a new feature) in order to address the problem. At the end, we repeat.
The problem that many leaders run into is that they struggle with metrics that are consistent to monitor their systems. All too often with so many “irons in the fire” it becomes difficult to monitor everything. This is the time that organizational insanity creeps in. Some leaders feel it is easier to just let things continue because, well, “that’s how we have always done things.” We all know things won’t just improve, and it takes a lot of reflection to battle organizational strategies.
How do you monitor organizational insanity?
I will be honest. The fact that my blogging streak has hit 300 completely and utterly amazes me. Knowing that I only have 65 more posts before the year ends excites me. So as I consider the streak, I know that it pales in comparison to other streaks. I know I will never blog everyday for 4 years like Kelly Tenkley or even Cal Ripken who played 2,632 baseball games in a row.
I have learned a lot about myself, leadership and the writing process through this experience. It continues to require me to seek inspiration and reflect on my learning! Celebrating this milestone and looking forward to another 65 posts…. and then….. who knows!
Doesn’t that sound like a misnomer? How could you be “connected” and at the same time “isolated”? Well, that is why we are working on a project to shed light on this phenomenon.
As we explore this topic, we need your help. Can you take a few minutes to answer a few questions that will be used in our book? Be sure to leave an email address if you would like to be considered to have your story highlighted.
We will also be addressing this topic in several upcoming podcasts, and we hope you join us. Check out the PrincipalPLN blog for more information!
We really appreciate your assistance with this 🙂
In just 6 seconds, that’s right 6 seconds Vines are growing everywhere! Everybody young and old are watching Vines. They are very addictive. My son can’t get enough of them! What is the interest? Well 40 million people can’t be wrong, can they?
The appeal of the Vine is in it’s simplicity. Like it’s owner, Twitter, brevity is everything. Can you do something in 6 seconds to catch someone’s interest? So what is the educational use? Schools are using Vines similar to all of the Social Media apps… to draw interest, tell their story, and allow students to create, and publish as Digital Citizens.
Some schools are having 5 to minute film festivals using Vines. Check out this Edutopia blog post about how schools use Vines.
Here is Edutopia’s 6 Second Science Fair
What are you going to use Vine for?
Since social media allows for 24 hours a day 7 days a week access, the times for learning are infinite. Let’s face it, everyone now has devices that allow access with the click of a mouse. These devices such as iPads, iPhones, Droids, Chromebooks etc. are portable and accessible to the internet.
Most people are using their devices to access information while waiting for an appointment, at their child’s sporting event, or at home when they have downtime. A few moments here and a few moments there will allow for an entire world to be brought alive.
If you are not learning, there is no excuse. Want more information about being connected? Check out Corwin’s Connected Educator Series