I was speaking with Dr. Spike Cook a while back at an educational event and he made mention of the fact that my early morning Facebook Check-Ins from the gym inspired him. Actually his exact words were "how come you don't check in from the gym anymore?" At which point I told him that I stopped working out. But I digress. Recently I reflected on this conversation I had with Spike and wondered if this same sort of story applied to educators and the vast amount of sharing that takes place on various social media sites.
I truly believe that the ideas, reflections, resources, and best practices we share on social media sites inspire others. A simple tweet, Facebook post, Vox, or update on LinkedIn may not seem like a big deal to you, but undoubtedly impact someone else. Over my five plus years as a connected educator I have had the distinct pleasure of learning from so many classroom, school, and district practioners. The exposure to various initiatives, lesson ideas, technology applications, units of study, and educational philosophy has made me better at doing my job.
I would imagine that most educators who share on social do not realize that they inspire other educators. But they do! Ultimately this creates a cycle that directly promotes the success of all students. Social media is not the only way you can share best practices and inspire others. The OpenEd movement has given educators a clearing house of free resources that can be adapted in whatever way you see fit.
There is no doubt that this is one of the most exciting times in education. Technology has allowed educators from across the globe to connect and learn from each other. Sharing and inspiring are contagious and can be a major factor in improving school culture, teaching practices, and leadership style. Just look at what the EdCamp Movement has done at the local, state, and national level. So if you do not think you have something to share or the ability to inspire, think again! You do, and it starts today.
In fact, as you read this blog post I am going to head over to our local gym and work out for a bit. Don't worry, I will check in on Facebook so that everyone knows. Not because I am some buff gym rat, in fact not even close. But because it might inspire one of my friends to do the same. Then, after working out, I will hop on Twitter and look for some inspiring tweets. Hopefully you can do the same.
Brad Currie is the author of All Hands on Deck: Tools for Connecting Educators, Parents, and Communities and the newly released Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development. He is one of the founding partners of Evolving Educators LLC. Brad is a 2014 ASCD Emerging Leader and Google Certified Trainer. Brad currently serves as a K-8 Supervisor of Instruction and Dean of Students for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. He is a Google Certified Trainer and speaks nationally about tech integration. Learn more about Brad by following him on Twitter @bradmcurrie or visiting his website at www.bradcurrie.net.