Two sentences.

Two sentences have been banging around in my head this week.

“Some great learning waits just on the other side of your comfort zone.”

Comfort-Zone

And…

The danger of a single story.  This sentence is the title of a stunning TED talk.

 

the danger of a single story

These two sentences, when put together, are very challenging.

That’s a good thing.

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The learning stream keeps on rollin’ by.

Had a wonderful conversation this morning with a longtime colleague and educator. Among other topics, we chatted about the access to knowledge and learning available via twitter.  He described a very normal reaction from some.  “It’s overwhelming!  So much information!  How do you keep track of it all?!”

I don’t even try to keep track of it all.

I described my twitter feed, using TweetDeck, where I am following 3187 people, as a ‘slot machine, constantly spinning’, as those 3187 people add ideas, thoughts, questions, etc. to the twittersphere.  Then I figured out, in our conversation, that I had a much better description for all that information.

It’s better described as a ‘learning stream.’ It’s always flowing.  I can stand on the bank, at my leisure, and watch it go by.  I can reach in and pull out an idea when I see one floating by that captures my interest.  I don’t try to scroll the stream back to see what I missed.  I figure if it’s a good idea, concept, question, it will float by again.  I can walk away from the bank and visit a school, a colleague, or a group of students.  The stream keeps flowing while I’m gone.  That’s ok.  My visits might give me an idea, concept, or question to throw out into the stream for somebody else to pull out.

fishing

Don’t sweat following lots more people than follow you.  I think that’s the right ratio. Listen more than you talk.  But don’t be afraid to share. You never know who’s waiting just downstream for you to throw something great into the water.

Tweet this!

I saw a great tweet from a principal talking about the 10 signs you might not be ready for twitter yet.  I decided to make a list of the….

10 Signs That You Might
Be Ready to Learn Using Twitter!twitter

  1. You’ve heard enough from a trusted colleague to give Twitter a try.
  2. You could use some more personal or professional support.  You are willing to make and learn from new friends.
  3. You have not perfected your craft.  Every kid still has lots of room to learn everyday.  You know you still have room for improvement.
  4. You have at least one good idea you could share with someone else.
  5. You are interested in having your voice be a part of a larger conversation about education.
  6. You are willing to collaborate with teachers around the world because your immediate colleagues haven’t cornered the market on how to teach well.
  7. You know that if something can be a game-changer for kids, time can be found.  A career can be built by trying to be a little better today than yesterday.
  8. You are willing to expend the energy and courage it takes to change your mind about something.  You are willing to have your long held professional beliefs challenged.
  9. You want to see if it’s true that amazing professional learning can be free, convenient, and totally self-directed.
  10. You are so passionate about education and kids, you are will to potentially get addicted to amazing professional learning. (warning: this could happen).