Saturday, 15 March 2014

Let's Do it!

I've been thinking a lot this week about sharing. In our School district, we are a little behind the eight-ball. Here is a message I wrote on our CBEILT Google+ community page tonight.

Ok #YYCBE educators - Let get the positive message out there! It's time we teachers took control of our hashtag and started sharing the amazing things we are doing in our classrooms and schools.

Here's 4 simple ways we can do it!

  1. Document your story (anything from 140 characters or more through a blog post or image)
  2. Share it on the CBEILT Google+ Community and on Twitter (if you're not on Twitter, then you need to be!) and add the #yycbe hashtag
  3. Search the #YYCBE hashtag - Look for positive stories - modify and/or retweet those stories
  4. Retweet great articles and stories you find elsewhere and add the #yycbe hashtag
  5. Please note - if you modify a tweet or add something else, the orginal author will be notified and can then retweet too, which in-turn will continue to build more momentum!

This last week has been amazing! We are already starting to push those negative stories further and further down the newsfeed! Let's keep it up and build momentum!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Making Great Learning Go Viral

This week I attended a workshop (Create, Innovate, Voice) run by the one and only George Couros this week. While what we learned, wasn't really all that new to me, I took away a tonne. It also got me thinking a lot about how we can, as a school district, celebrate the amazing things that happen in our classrooms.

Our school board, the Calgary Board of Education (hashtag #yycbe on Twitter) is the second biggest school district in Canada. It turns out we have one of the smallest presence on social media platforms out of many school boards in Alberta, let alone across Canada.

Our organization/school district hashtag is overrun and dominated by the media and the general public. It is predominantly associated with negative comments and news articles about things that are happening in our district. We, as a large group of passionate and caring educators, can change this negative view of  #yycbe. We have amazing things happening in the CBE and we also have a 10 000 strong staff that can help with spreading the word!

What I think we need to do is take away some of the fear away from sharing outside the walls of our own school, maybe even outside the four walls of our classrooms. If we embrace that change that is happening, instead of hiding from it, we can make a difference.

It is so easy to, and feels so much safer to isolate ourselves within our own context. If we really want to grow as educators, I believe we need to be reaching out and connecting with others more often. This reaching out helps us think outside the box. It gives us different views and other ways of doing things. It also can confirm the great things that we do in our own practices. We also need to remember that every one of us has something different to offer and can offer something to each other too.

In our workshop, it was awesome to see other people get excited about Twitter as a networking tool. There were not many people that had previously joined twitter but after the session, we had a whole lot more people willing to experiment and learn more about this amazing networking and PD tool.

It's exciting to thinking about the challenge of increasing our Social Media presence. We have a big job ahead of us but because our sheer size, we also have the possibility of going big, very fast. All we need to to start gaining some momentum.

Let's do this #yycbe!

Here is the story that was told through Twitter throughout the day with George Couros (@gcouros). It was fun seeing new people tweet and connect through this medium. Let's hope it continues!