Thursday, December 1, 2011
Sharing in the Educational Playground.
It's funny how when someone says something in passing it makes you think and wonder "What were you thinking when you said that?!!"
I told some friends about Sullivan Heights Paper, a summary of the blogs of the research that we're doing for the Tech Grant we received in September. They in turn were surprised at how much we don't mind sharing what we've done so far, the lessons, the rubrics, and exemplars. I explained that it wasn't so much the grant that got the staff at our school started, it was the idea of sharing with people what we were doing, explaining to others what has worked for us, and what has failed. This sharing of the adventure of our travels to reach the goals we set in September enhances the enjoyment of this trip. The "Passion of learning" is what drives us.
Life is too short. We need to enjoy a few moments in time and think about what we have and how we're fortunate to have what we have. We were one of the first schools to get the College Wifi (thank you to all that helped support our school in that decision), and we received financial support in implementing some changes in our instruction and assessment methods to change our school environment. Some examples of what we implemented so far is the welcoming of student technology (cell phones, outside computers, etc) into the classroom instead of banning it, embraced the opportunity these tools give our students in learning as 21st Century learners. We're hoping to help students to understand how to properly use social networking tools/sites with awareness. We want students to explore web 2.0 tools to self-assess their learning and enhance their critically thinking skills. But with this exploration comes the responsibility and need for comprehension (both teachers and students) in the area of copyright, plagiarism and intellectual property. We are rich in having the opportunity and ability to delve into various areas of inquiry that each of us are passionate about, growing in our knowledge and skills.
So I ask the question back to my friend "Why not share?" Twitter has given me numerous occasions to learn from colleagues all over the world. I have seen opening and closing speakers of a number of conferences that I did not have the opportunity to go to. These people share with me, why not give back to them? Why reinvent the wheel? Two heads are better then one, someone can make what I share better, and then give back to me their opinion. What better opportunity can you think of?!
Most of us entered the field of education because of the love of seeing a student's eyes glow when they finally understand what we have been trying to teach them. The rush of pleasure a teacher feels when they say "Oh, I get it!". That rush is not diminished when it's an adult who says this. It's flattering when someone retweets you, why not feel the same when someone edits your idea to suit their class. As in a retweet, mentioning the name of the person is the polite thing, and as professionals I hope we do the same with the rubrics, documents, or anything of a colleague that we wish to use.
So why not enjoy the sharing. To people who follow my site, please, feel free to use anything here or at my other sites (excellent Web 2.0 tools at this link). Just say thanks and email to say how it worked or how I can improve it.
This morning I looked at the sunrise here in Vancouver (yes this picture), on a beautiful sunny crisp morning, and I thought to myself, I'm fortunate to be in a job that I enjoy, continuously challenging myself to be better in my field, having the means and opportunity to explore my interest and passion. Why not share my good luck with others? I hope this blog and my colleagues blogs help you in some way, shape or form. Enjoy your day or week. Enjoy your passion.