I’m fortunate to work in a school which gets it. We do a lot of the stuff that people on #edchat are describing as innovative, particularly in the area of student leadership and assessment policy. I feel respected every day, and my opinions and thoughts have a real impact on the direction our school goes. I know this is not true for many teachers though, and I hear it through the discussions we have on Twitter. It seems most teachers work in places where they have very little influence on school policy.
We discuss a lot of stuff on Twitter, but given the number of people meeting, and our individual influence, I have often wondered how powerful we could be as an organizing force. I’ve often found #edchat to be a great starter of ideas, but the ideas seem to go nowhere and we often talk in circles without seeing any change. Sometimes #edchat feels like a gigantic echo chamber where we all pretty agree with each other, and find the best ways to share our agreement in 140 characters.
I don’t want to change #edchat, but I would like to see space for organizing group action we can take, and it seems to me that Twitter would be a valuable tool for doing this. I’ve proposed the #edaction hashtag, where educators can post ideas for action we can take, and then we can meet to decide on actions (and brainstorm future actions) we will take for the week.
Here are some suggestions of relatively easy actions we can all take:
- Talk to a neighbour education and your vision for what it should look like. Listen to their opinion. If you disagree, discuss core beliefs and find out what you agree on.
- Write a letter to a traditional print newspaper. We might be firm adopters of the digital world, but many people with influence do not read blogs & follow Twitter. We need to spread our message to a different audience.
- Share ideas about education we have in #edchat with your colleagues at school. You don’t have to become an evangelist for #edchat, but we need to see what our non-Twitter educator colleagues think and ensure that when innovative ideas come out of #edchat that a larger community hears them. We need critical evaluation of our ideas as well, and our colleagues are a great source of criticism, and improvement of our thoughts.
Please post other ideas you have for #edaction in Twitter using the #edaction hashtag. Our objective? Take action to transform education.