#day1wms – Commemorating the First Day of School

Tomorrow illuminates another experiment involving social media in schools. Westminster is documenting our first day of school with Twitter! What a great way for a community to collaborate on communicating the thrill of DAY 1! [Click link below for details!]

The Junior High School may want/need to participate Wednesday and Thursday, August 17 and 18 – because of our schedule and additional thrill of the Apple 1:1 Initiative Roll-Out!

Tweet about your first day, include #day1wms

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.

Great TED Talk Resource

Those who know me, or know of me from this blog, understand that I am a huge TED fan and devotee. TED is fundamental part of my personal learning plan. I watch a talk a day. Each time I am inspired and made even more curious.

Well, thanks to a history teacher…then, Steve Anderson…then, Peyten Dobbs, I was made aware of a nice resource for searching TED talks. Also, I loved the history teacher’s intro explanation to the resource. It seemed to bother him/her to list the talks by discipline, when so many talks are cross-disciplinary and integrated. Most things are in real life!

I just wanted to pass along the resource (with a bit of brief commentary). Happy browsing and searching.

Steven W. Anderson (@web20classroom)
6/7/11 10:12 AM
TED Demystified For Teachers: http://bit.ly/jPRkpE


Unslumping Myself

For the first time in my life (hyperbole, but it seemed like a good intro), I disagree with Dr. Seuss. In Oh, the Places You’ll Go, he wrote, “unslumping yourself is not easily done.” I think it can be easily done. Just do something. This post is my “something.” And…I tweeted a few “somethings” this morning (early!).

I have felt that I am in a “blog/twitter slump” for a couple of weeks. Here are some of my excuses. Do any resonate with you about something you feel slumped about?

  • I am too busy. I can’t prioritize blogging and tweeting right now.
  • I don’t have time to write. I need to work on all the close-of-school and 2011-12 opening-of-school stuff.
  • I can’t think of anything good to write. I don’t want people to be disappointed in my posts or tweets. I want to say something profound.

Then, it hit me. I was slumped, at least partly, by a fixed mindset. If even a fraction of why I did not feel like writing was because I was worried what other people might think, then I had slipped into a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset [see Carol Dweck’s Mindset]. Hey, it happens to all of us. So…what to do? Just tweet. Just write. Don’t do it for any recognition, and don’t not do it for fear of failing. To quote the famous Nike adage, “Just do it.” So…this is my swing at the ball for this morning. I might miss. So what. I am writing. I am unslumping myself. Is there something you need to unslump yourself about? Pick one actionable item, and try. Ignore all the reasons not to try, and just do something. 

Some folks might say, “Bo, it’s just blogging and tweeting. What’s the big deal?” (Of course, few if any of those folks probably read any of this.) The big deal is this (for me) – blogging is a great way for me to think out loud. I get to see what I am thinking by reading what I am writing. And if that’s all that happens, it’s worth it. But sometimes, someone reacts or responds to something I have written. Then, a conversation can happen. And I can do this for others on their posts and tweets. A seed can grow roots and stems. For me, blogging and tweeting (tweeting is just blogging in shorter bursts)
has connected me to a community, a network, of learners for which I am very thankful. I have felt disconnected from this network for two weeks. I want to reconnect. This will help me get started. This may just unslump me. It’s worth a try. Excuses got nothing on the screen. Taking 10 minutes and a risk produced something so that I could see what I am thinking. And, who knows…maybe a conversation can start.

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!