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Monday, January 02, 2012

12 All Forward 2012 Resolutions to Rock #education forward



Some have a spoiled child mentality:
"If something good happens to you,
then that is bad for me."
There are a lot of people doing great things to move education forward. There is no "one" single best. We're too intertwined for that.

Some have a spoiled child mentality:
"If something good happens to you, then that is bad for me."

As educators, I think an abundance mentality is especially important. I can do well, you can do well.

How do I rank?

Competition can be a scorecard or a metric and have a purpose, but the "rankings" are being used to drive everything. We should ask:

  • How do we score against ourselves? 
  • Are we improving?
  • Do we agree with the rankings at all? Despite serious questions about these standardized tests, we use their rankings anyway, giving them more credence.

As a parent, I'd want to see efolios and online work as well as measures of learning environment.

Is there really enough for all of us?
For example, there are a ton of great books hitting the market by wonderful edubloggers:
Why, would I mention those books on my blog when my own book Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time comes out in just a few weeks?

Honestly, because I believe in the abundance mentality. Each of these books are by great people that I know personally and I honestly want them to be successful. I believe in their message and their purpose. More of these types of books need to be read. Period.

Many believe comparable means competitive. I disagree.
Here's why...
  •  Successful edubloggers breed future successful edubloggers.
  • If we want to upset the traditional educational publishing apple cart, we can support those we know through social media. Plus, we know what we are getting because we've already seen their work.

  • What these people are saying is good (IMHO) and will help education.
    I truly believe that if someone reads one of these books then it will lead to another and then another. As great as their blogs are, with the monstrous editing process that goes into writing a book, I think you'll have a higher quality product in their books. Blogs let you vent. Books make you think. These messages are good for education.
  • I like each of them and wish them well. I know the sacrifice that it takes to birth a book and I know that each of them need to help their families. I want them each to be wildly successful.
  • You reap what you sow. Be helpful and others will be helpful to you. Don't keep a scorecard because not everybody is like this, but in the end, helpful people find themselves receiving blessings from unexpected places.

What is one moment in the spotlight worth?
Spotlights are like a butterfly in the hand of a maestro...you are center stage but for a moment because of where you happened to land. You are part of a larger performance. Never forget it.

Early on David Warlick and Stephen Downes used their own spotlight to shine on me and the Flat Classroom project and it helped the projects and our students and teachers. When you shine the spotlight on those who consistently shine spotlights on others, you grow the light.

In his blog post about the next era of Tech blogging, Marshall Kirkpatrick says:
"It’s sad that so few tech blog posts add the kind of value that can be added by including links to high quality off-site resources. It’s ok to send readers away, they’ll appreciate the pointers and they’ll come back. Some of the biggest sites on the web just aggregate links to other sites – why not combine that form of value with original content on blogs? Not only are the links valuable for readers, the research required to assemble those links is a big value add as well. Compiling research and links to other sites is a fine art. I know everybody wants to see more of this. Who on earth would believe that a single blog post’s author knows everything a reader wants to know about a topic?"
The only person who is 100% wrong is the one who thinks he is 100% right.

There are bystanders in the audience that will try to
"nudge us into competition with others who fulfill a similar need." (Source: Beth Moore, James: Mercy Triumphs, p 29)
Let's resist this urge. When rankings happen (as they do and will) let's keep perspective and make this an all forward year for education, where we all move forward together. Encouraging and helping each other do more and be more. None of us have all the answers but together we can do better faster.
Together, we can do better, faster.


12 All Forward Resolutions for 2012

I will...
  1. link to others generously,
  2. retweet great ideas and give credit to original thinkers,
  3. mention people by name when they give me ideas, whatever the source may be,
  4. work to promote the work of others who support the cause of teaching, reaching, (and loving) every child,
  5. respect each person as an original,
  6. extend my hand of fellowship and friendship,
  7. be the Internet I want my children to inherit,
  8. be kind to others even when they don't deserve it,
  9. stand up for the right thing even when it means I will be ridiculed for it, (All it takes is for good people to be quiet for horrible things to happen.)
  10. discover and share new voices with the spotlight gifted to me by readers and friends,
  11. be passionate to speak for those who do not have a voice: those in slavery, the poor, those separated by the digital divide, and
  12. listen to you when you speak and seek discernment about what to do with what you say.

My verse for this morning was:
We are each originals, fleeting beauties gleaning tiny
drops of learning in an infinite field of knowledge.
"Since this is a new kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. 
That means we will not compare ourselves to each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original." Galatians 5:25-26 (The Message)
Each of us is an original. I love Angela Maiers' hashtag #youmatter because YOU MATTER!

All forward for better education. Link freely. Help others. Love passionately. Give all men and women your respect. Speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. Unselfishly share of yourself.

Obstacles to Abundance
Grandaddy Adams always said:
"There's enough for every man's need not for every man's greed."
Greediness and stinginess are the anathema to an abundance mentality. The tough thing is it is hard to judge the mentality of another. I take the Bible mentality... by your fruits you shall know them. It is eventually obvious those who help others. Arrogance or humility show in the consistency of who someone is every day and the research also shows that humble people are more likely to help others. I'm drawn to people who tweet and work for social causes for which they have no benefit because it says something about who they are. (like #endslavery)

Happy New Year! Remember your noble calling begins with acting nobly. There is more than enough to go around.


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