“Only Connect…”

“Only connect…”

Before family awoke this morning, I read a few tweets and blog posts. These three are swimming in my mind still – weaving themselves together in ways that make me wish I already had developed the writing skills necessary to articulate the picture which exists in my mind.

Three tweets/blog posts:

Bob Ryshke on “Disruptive Innovations and Creating a Culture of Innovation”

Nancy Flanagan on “Digging Out”

Bill Ferriter on “One Tweet CAN Change the World”

For me, the tapestry created by weaving these three thought-provokers¬†together can be summarized with the E.M. Forster quote, “Only connect…” For me, the most critical educational innovation to be realized in the 21st century is for administrators and teachers to work together to make possible the opportunities needed for educators to connect. Educators must be learners and must model learning, and our educational structures must be innovated to foster and promote connected learning among the adults in the buildings. We must dig out of antiquated, isolated structures that keep teachers, the lead learners, separated. We must share and we must find educators who are sharing. We need to think together. We need to connect. Our students deserve our best selves, and WE are smarter than ME.

Only connect…

A school infrastructure that allows – no, PROMOTES – connected learning among the adults is a school infrastudcture that can guide students to learning that matters greatly in the 21st century. How do we expect to facilitate 21st-century-skill development in our students if our teachers don’t live in an environment – in a mindset – that facilitates 21st century skill development?

INNOVATE for teachers and administrators to enjoy job-embedded time to learn together – to CONNECT – and I would be willing to guarantee that endless other innovations will follow. Motivation is NOT the issue for teachers…TIME is the issue. Let’s make time for lead learners to learn together…to connect.

Connect. Only connect…

One thought on ““Only Connect…”

  1. I do agree! I think you made a valuable connection between these three ideas. Innovation will only occur if learners are sharing and communicating about the important work in the classroom. In their article, Creating a Culture of Innovation, Jamie Field and Lee Burns write, “the best leader cannot do all the thinking, planning, creating, and managing for the whole school.” The title of one of their sections is, Share Everything You Can. In their work with Presbyterian Day School, they helped the school develop a collaborative and open culture. For example, they asked teachers from one grade to evaluate or analyze the curriculum in another grade to give feedback. Their science and Bible teachers met for a whole year to discuss the relationship between faith and science. They also promoted a more open and sharing culture with students and parents. Check our her article regarding her work with PDS. I think it resonates with your post and gives real examples of a school striving to get there. See the link below:

    http://www.nais.org/publications/ismagazinearticle.cfm?ItemNumber=154175

    Bob

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