User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

Sharing: A Responsibility of the Modern Educator

with 5 comments

In a past post blog I discussed the idea that every educator has a story and that they should share those stories:

Educators are doing amazing things with their learners in spite of the standards-based and accountability-driven movements. If all educators publicized the accomplishments they had in their classrooms using technology, hands-on activities, global collaborations, project-based learning; then an informal qualitative research project would result.  When educators are asked to provide evidence of efficacy to administrators, parents, other educators, funding sources, they could share these success stories.  This aggregate would become the collective narrative – story of education of our times in the beginnings of the 21st century. (https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/every-educator-has-a-story-just-tell-it/)

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As a follow-up to that post, I am amplifying my call to action to say that I believe it is the responsibility of every educator in this era of learning to share . . . resources, ideas, success, challenges, ahas, student insights, anything education related.

Sharing takes on many forms. Educators can talk to colleagues, write blogs, tweet, present at conferences – both virtually and face to face, talk to the media, and/or create a media product – video, podcast, photo essay – and post online.

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On a personal level, sharing assists the educator in becoming a better educator. The act of sharing requires reflection and preparation. The educator needs to reflect on his or her own practices to identify which ones they want to share and also needs to put that sharing artifact into a form (e.g. writing, images, audio, video) that will understood by an authentic audience. This process tends to help the educator improve instructional practices.

On a broader, more systemic level, sharing one’s experiences benefits other educators which, in turn, has the potential to advance the entire education field. It is the collective responsibility of all educators to create the change that they want to see in the education world. There really is no they in education. The they is really we-us. The we-us now have the means to have a voice.

The educator becomes a connected educator and through sharing, is an active participant and contributor to the connected educator movement.

Being a connected educator means connecting with other teachers to exchange ideas, improve your teaching practice, and in turn, make a change in education. It is only through being connected that we can collaborate and help to foster learning for the 21st century and beyond. (Being a Connected Educator)

The gap between what is and what could be in education is larger than it ever has  been.  I believe this is largely due to technology and the ability to establish global connections because of social media. Educators are more connected and more aware about education trends than any time in the history of public education.

Imagine how education could be transformed if all educators use their own personal, often passion-driven voices. The bottom line is that if any individual educator believes there are flaws in the education, that it can be done better, then s/he has the responsibility to say something. I reaching the point that I am starting to believe it is a moral imperative for educators to share what they know to be true with other educators; and with administrators, students’ families, community members, politicians . . . the larger global society.

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

March 29, 2015 at 11:09 pm

5 Responses

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  1. My Thought: Many teachers who are doing wonderful things are insecure with their efforts. They do not believe that what they are doing is effective. They continue their work in isolation doing what they believe is best for their students but have no data to support their efforts. Administrators do not recognize their efforts and at times do not even understand what they are doing. It takes an extremely confident teacher to be willing to step out of the shadows and share their strategies, and plans. On the same token, there are extremely confident teachers who are ineffective but boastfully share their ineffective strategies and plans. It’s finding those effective educators and getting them to share is what would be most powerful.

    George Mohr

    March 30, 2015 at 5:11 pm

  2. Jackie, this is a great post and I love both images. I do wonder if the man in the cartoon might have had a different impact on the woman though. She was so pleased with what she had done, and he just listed all the things she hadn’t done straight back to her. I am also thinking about how your hand drawn image might be even more powerful in the student layer was factored in. Plenty of food for thought – thank you.

    msimkin

    April 1, 2015 at 4:57 am

    • thanks for the feedback.

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      April 2, 2015 at 3:01 am

  3. Jackie, I strongly believe in helping to establish a learning network, where you not only get amazing ideas from people all over the world, but also sharing ideas back to the community. As educators, we are often very humble and believe that we are just doing what we do, we are sure that everyone understands this. However, there are so many things that educators do every day that should be celebrated! We just need to be brave enough to take those first steps. Your post reminded me of a video that @scsdmedia shared with me Obvious to You, Amazing to Others https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcmI5SSQLmE. This message echoes in my head over and over when I think about what I should share with others and may want to skip over something because it seems so insignificant.

    Amber

    April 21, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    • Thanks for your feedback and I agree about being brace. The video you referenced is amazing – thanks for sharing it here.

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      April 22, 2015 at 12:00 am


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