The video I created in 2010 for the K-12 online called Sharing: The Moral Imperative remains a fairly widely used bit of content. I was proud of my efforts from a production, content and delivery perspective. Also if you want to see George Couros, before he was George Couros, have a look.
That was over six years ago. As I rewatched it, I had to ask if I feel the same today. What, if any changes would I make to this video if I were to update it?
Focusing solely on the content, I still value and believe sharing is integral to learning and our profession. My claims in the video focus mainly on efforts to share online. At the time, only a small number of educators were actively sharing content online. Blogs were beginning to take traction for some, but their value wasn’t anywhere near a universal belief. Twitter and social media opportunities were nowhere near where they are today. Twitter was seen much like Snapchat is perceived for many today.: wasteful and for posting of minutia.
My original message was to encourage and create a culture where teachers look to share their ideas, thoughts, lessons, resources projects, and stories. Sharing online means that serendipity could happen more often. Not because of my video but I think sharing has increased. That’s a good thing. More and more educators are connecting online and while it’s difficult to assess, I’d argue that for most of those teachers, they found it beneficial for themselves and for their students. But for most teachers, sharing means Twitter and Facebook. In general, I would say that’s fine. Share where you’re going to impact the most people. The main challenge of these spaces are noise and with Facebook, in particular, your lack of control over who sees your work. If Facebook is your primary platform to share, I would ask you to rethink that. If you want to expand your network or allow others to find you, it’s flawed. Twitter has its place, but it’s the appetizer equivalent of a full course meal. I realize some people are great curators and Twitter is a great place to share links and other useful content. If that’s something you do, that’s great, but that’s one very niche kind of sharing.
So perhaps my message today would be more focused on the process of sharing, rather than outcome. Writing this blog post, for example, is a reflective act that, while I hope others find useful, is highly beneficial for me as a thinker and writer. A blog also serves as an archive of my ideas. Facebook and Twitter don’t allow you to do that very easily. Once upon a time, a blog was a new and powerful way to publish online. I know that blogs are somewhat passe. They aren’t new or sexy and for many people that have created them, they represent a space of guilt. You may not even get all that many views as RSS has also seemed to have died. But they still are in my mind, the most versatile, powerful way to store and share your stuff.
You can see this post is a muddled mess which is typical of what I do here. But unlike Facebook and Twitter, this is my house, I can do as I please. Am I saying every teacher should blog? Maybe, I don’t know. I said that once. I also know it’s not an easy thing to do. Without reflection, there’s no way you can improve or be great at anything. Through reflection and sharing you and others can benefit. Maybe I’d change the video to “Reflection: The Moral Imperative.” Help me out here.
PS. if you feel a bit guilty, that’s good.
cross-posted at ideasandthoughts.org
Dean Shareski is the Community Manager of the Canadian DEN (Discovery Educators Network) and lecturer for the University of Regina. With 24 years of experience as a K12 educator and consultant, he specializes in the use of technology in the classroom. Read more at ideasandthoughts.org.
Disclaimer: This weblog contains the opinions and ideas of Dean Shareski. While there may be references to my work and content which relates directly to my work, the ideas are mine alone and are not necessarily shared by my employer.