Bam! It hits you all of the sudden… an idea! Should you keep it to yourself or share? What good does it do us as educators to keep ideas, inspiration, and even struggles to ourselves. By having an open culture of collaboration, our ideas can be validated, challenged, and even become an inspiration for someone else to take the idea and run with it for the greater good, right?
I (Mena) have had the pleasure of being a classroom teacher for nine years. During that time I have been in many schools where collaboration is expected but it is limited to the grade level and sometimes the whole school. The things I have learned during those time are great, but often limited. Since I have joined Twitter, #IMMOOC, #tlap, and #satchatwc chats, I have learned SO much. The culture of sharing amazing! Just the fact that two educators from different countries can collaborate because of technology is like nothing I have ever done before.
The open ideas of collaboration is for sure a great one. The world is now flat and gives us the chance to chat with other educators from around the world for the greater good of education around the world. I do believe that while sharing, our impact and knowledge accelerates up to a point that you cannot even imagine.
I (Francois) have had the pleasure of being a classroom teacher for more than nine years along with 4 years on the international level and 4 years as an public school administrator. During that time, collaboration has changed greatly. At the beginning of my career, everyone stayed into their own classroom, even pro-d was not something in which people had a lot of interest in. Mid-way to my career things have change to the new paradigm of thinking. I went as far as China and New-York to stay in touch with innovative ideas in education. I have learned lots with coursera, twitter and facebook in which I have created more than 20 pages of collaboration. I have more than 300 followers in Australia on a site that I have created just to share some ideas on 21st century learning. I created a Pinterest site in which I should reach my 1K pretty soon, I put teaching ideas and share mine with the world. I am greatly interested in Open collaboration around the world. I am a lifelong learner and I have great interest in the field of education.
What an amazing opportunity we have as educators to share, learn, and grow in a professional learning network with amazing educators and students from around the world. Open culture and collaboration can mean chatting with a teacher in another grade level. It can mean sharing ideas at a school meeting. Open culture means that your ideas are good enough and essential to community and global growth of students and teachers. Without collaboration and sharing we make a smaller impact, but once we share, our impact is bigger, stronger, and better!
Mena T. Hill
Educator, Wife, Mother, Colorado Native