A Tribal Revolution

In Seth Godin’s Tribes, he explains that “it takes only two things to turn a group of people into a tribe:

  • A shared interest
  • A way to communicate (24).

Godin also posits, “So a leader can help increase the effectiveness of the tribe and its members by

  • transforming the shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change;
  • providing tools to allow members to tighten their communications; and
  • leveraging the tribe to allow it to grow and gain new members” (25).

Well, on July 25, 2011, David Wees (whom I have never met, yet I feel he is a colleague) published a blog post entitled, “The quiet revolution in education.” Via a tool like this blog, I may be preaching only to the choir, but I would encourage you to watch the TED talk that Wees embedded into his post, and I would strongly recommend that you read his post. In essence, he provides an incredibly cogent explanation of why we educators should be embracing social media tools and sharing practices so that we can “tighten [our] communication” in order to further “[transform our] shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change.” Together all of us can “[leverage] the tribe to allow it to grow and gain new members.”

As teachers, educators, lead learners – whatever you want to call us – don’t we want a similar thing for our children? Don’t we want them to pursue their interests with passion so as to increase their knowledge and understanding of a thing so as to contribute to positive growth and development in our citizenry?

If we want it for our children, we should practice and model it ourselves! We are rearing and guiding students in a Web 2.0 and 3.0 world…we need to be Web 2.0 and 3.0 people! School should prepare students for the world in which we live – teachers should guide the way.

I believe David Wees has provided a superb “why” regarding our need as educators to connect with one another and share. What if each of us who already feel a member of this tribe reached out to an educator who is not connected in this Web 2.0 way? What if an entire faculty – 100% of us working together in a school – agreed to an experiment of being connected in this way with a “world faculty” of passionate, questioning, driven and motivated teachers…educators…lead learners? How much more resourceful could we be for our student learners?

Then, just this morning, David Wees retweeted MmeNero and her great Slideshare about Twitter for educators. Now, in addition to the “why,” we have a good link to a “what” and a “how.” With the why, what, and how at our finger tips, we can get some exciting things accomplished.

With whom will you share? Who will you bring into the tribe? The new tribe member might just tweet that one thing which could help us all reach a child that much better. Imagine the wisdom and experience that is NOT in the social media landscape. Let’s work to get those amazing voices here!


Bonus: Simon Sinek’s TED talk about the Golden Circle of Why, What, and How.


Works Cited:

Godin, Seth. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Penguin Group, New York: 2008.

TEDxKids@BC and a dollop of Synergy feedback!

Assessment comes in so many shapes and sizes! Recently, I received some unexpected feedback about Synergy 8 – an interdisciplinary, community-issues, PBL class that Jill Gough and I created and piloted with eighth graders this past fall semester.

Earlier this week, as I was reading in my GOOGLE RSS feed reader (I use Feeddler on iPad), I discovered a call for speakers for TEDxKids@BC. Being a huge fan and supporter of TEDx and David Wees, I tweeted the blog-post-call-for-speakers. Thinking specifically of two or three Synergy “grads,” I called their attention to the tweet with a mention. Via direct messaging, two of the Synergy team members scheduled a face-to-face to discuss possibilities, and then one followed up with an email showing her initial brainstorming about a proposal to speak at TEDxKids@BC. I am pasting the email below, with permission:

Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2011 11:09 AM
To: Jill Gough; Bo Adams
Subject: tedx kids ideas:
tedx kids ideas:
What should school look like?
(use synergy experience as example)
– discussion and question centered
– students as teachers too
– self assessments
– improvement and retention vs. Grades
– technology integrated
– find out what students and teachers think school is and what it should be/what they want it to be
Class room environment:??? (don’t rly know, this might be a totally irrelevant or repetitive tangent…)
– respect
– student involvement instead of teacher lecturing (students as teachers too)
– using technology to appeal to all kinds of learners and learning styles
– teach how they learn, and what they want to know not just for test
– cultivate a love of learning and subject (may be far out there)
Bisous 🙂
Live, Laugh, Love
Sent from my iPhone
“Ideas worth spreading” indeed! Fourteen years old, this Synergy thinker is. Can you feel the ripples she might be causing in the way we think about education and school in the 21st century?! Whether she makes it all the way to a TEDxKids@BC talk this go-around or not, “BRAVA!” to her for taking the risk and forwarding her thinking. Ms. Gough and I are behind her all the way!