I recently watched conversations via Twitter concerning what is keeping teachers from being able to move to the next level, to join the revolution, to use the tools that are there, to stop talking and really start doing, etc. As I sat and thought about it, one of the things that came to mind was could it possibly be as simple as ego? The more I thought however, I began to realize it is more than that.
I would like to think that in my 31 years as a teacher/learner, I was able to put my ego aside and work with the students rather than being the sage on the stage. Last October I attended a one day conference in Round Rock sponsored by Leading and Learning. Speakers were the likes of Wes Fryer, David Jakes, Miguel Guhlin and others that I have forgotten since then and if you were one of them I apologize. My point is that I had never "twittered" before that day. So I started with Twitter and was fascinated. Then I played with Ustream.TV and thought "Wow!" Then I started watching the discussion on Twitter and started adding some people. I would go to others Twitter home pages and see who they were following and add some of them.
Then came TCEA 2008. Some of the same people I was following were talking throughout the conference online, through Twitter, live blogging, etc. I then had the chance to listen to Carolyn Foote and later that day followed that with Randy Rodgers and I sat on the sidelines with John Maklary and Miguel Guhlin, Scott FLoyd and many others and drank it all in. Then all of a sudden it clicked. I can't tell you exactly what the trigger was, but I felt like that scene in the "Hellen Keller Story." All of a sudden I got it, I realized what the importance of what I had been reading all along in the TEC-SIG listserv and on Twitter and reading through others blogs. It was as if the heavens opened and a bright light...well you get the picture. It all clicked.
Then, like that scene I was running from item to item electronically trying things out and I actually started blogging, then I tried to Ustream a presentation we did at NCEA in Indianapolis (that failed but I am ready to try again), I have been practicing live blogging and I feel like I have been a contributor.
So what does this have to do with ego in the classroom. I think there are so many things that we are shouting from the rooftops about, that those who don't get it are overwhelmed and what is the fail safe when we are overwhelmed - business as usual. So in an effort to get around the business as usual approach I have started sending out emails to my faculty that have "Did you know..." in the subject line. They have gotten used to knowing that it will be some small snippet of technology that they can try out. I usually keep it as simple and as brief as possible. The result has been teachers asking when I am going to send out the next one. I have gotten responses from teachers such as , Thanks, I like the info, Cool idea, I am going to try that and even I like my technology in small bytes.
So maybe it is time to stop the shouting and start spoon feeding. Those of us who think we get it have been brought to this river of knowledge by many in our PLN's. We drink freely from its cool and flowing waters and we continue to absorb and be refreshed. If others see us drink from it often enough and we share with them and give them sips on ocassion, we might find some others coming back for buckets and maybe an ocassional swim.
All I can say is last one in is a rotten egg.