Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adapt or Become Irrelevant! My 5 Favorite Tweets of 2011

I would like to take a moment to thank all of the outstanding educators who are part of my PLN and invest in making me better each and every day.  The 10 people who influence me the most and on a daily basis...... I have never met!  

As this year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to share my 5 favorite tweets of 2011 and a brief explanation as to why.  

Mary Beth Hertz offers some important advice when she tweeted, "Be patient but relentless in helping colleagues build connections!"  Steve Wheeler recently wrote a blog post titled, Connected Educators in which he shares, "It is abundantly clear to me that connectivity is one of the essentials in the 21st Century teacher toolkit.  We are now learning more from each other than we could ever learn on our own." 

Tom Whitby shares some meaningful advice in his blog, My Island View, in which he defines What's A Connected Educator?  "Educators must get over all of the obstacles they are putting up about connectedness. It can be done slowly, one step at a time, but it must be done. We need educators to be connected." You are absolutely right Tom, it must be done!

I could not agree more with Nancy and her straightforward tweet about technology integration.  For over a decade now, we have been providing much professional development in the area of technology integration in hopes all teachers will get on board.  Yet, many teachers still feel as if they have an option and choose not to change.  The fact is, we can no longer attend professional development five days a year and cross our fingers and hope that each teacher will utilize technology.  Nor can we continue to block access for those teachers and leaders who are willing and able to open up their classrooms and schools to the world.

Superintendent David Britten recently wrote, "Communities waiting until only the best roads are put in place before anyone's allowed to drive a car are just plain backwards and need to get out of the way of progress."

Thank you David for sharing this outstanding quote.  Recently, I read a provocative post by Jeff Delp called, Staying Plugged In, in which Lyn Hilt makes the following comment that I believe substantiates Stephen Downes quote.

"At this point in my admin career, especially due to the connections I've made through Twitter, locating blog and other resources, attending conferences, etc., I have learned so many new things about teaching, learning, classroom culture, and more- there are many days when I wish to have a classroom of my own to try out these new ideas and methodologies with a  group of students." - Lyn Hilt

Wow!  Adapt or become irrelevant!  On this particular evening, the discussion centered around the positives and negatives of limited technology in schools. Excuse after excuse tweeted throughout the discussion board.  Finally, @colonelb had the courage to submit such a honest tweet.  

A day or two later, David Britten followed up with a blog post of his own, Smoke From My Keyboard: Cut the Excuses and Lead!  This post, one of my favorites of 2011, not only expressed his frustration but also included many key points.
"It's about your kids' future, not yours!  In fact, it's not even about your present!  Teaching has never been about you nor should it be.  It's about kids - rich or poor - being raised in a world where technology is woven into their lives 24/7 (except during school in too many places) and has become a key tool in how they learn, how they communicate, how they socialize, how they create and publish, and simply who they are." - Superintendent David Britten  

There is nothing like a tweet that speaks the indisputable truth.  I remember it like it was yesterday, the conversation was centered around accountability and how difficult it is to dismiss bad teachers.  Tom Whitby fired back with this veracious tweet.  This I believe to be one of our biggest obstacles in education. Student engagement is a precondition of learning.  If students aren't engaged in the classroom, they will not learn.  

"The least educators can do for kids is to stimulate a curiosity for learning.  The best would be to impart a passion for learning." - Tom Whitby


  1. What a great post, and thanks for including me! I've learned much from you as well. Look forward to continued sharing in the future!

  2. WOW! What a fantastic collection of ideas, posts, and tweets for 2011. Your reflections are powerful and represent what we as educators should do everyday. Thank you for being a leader this year and all the years to come.

  3. Thanks for including my tweet! I think you touched on some of the most important themes in education for 2011!

  4. Thanks Lyn, Sylvia, and Mary Beth for your nice compliments and for taking the time to read and comment. It's been a tremendous year and I can't even begin to describe how much I have grown.

    Mary Beth, this was my first time to see the two words, patient and relentless, used in the same sentence. I believe these two ideas used together, can be extremely powerful when it comes to change.

    Lyn, I could not agree more with your statement. Knowing what I know now, would make me a much improved teacher. Bill Ferriter brings up an excellent point about instructional leadership and we, as principals, must continue to search for new ways to learn and most important, find opportunities to apply these new ideas in the classroom. Always a teacher first!

    Sylvia, I encourage you to "favorite" tweets that make you think deeply. You know, those tweets that you read every now and then that make you think differently. Then, share them with the world so that we can all experience this same feeling of new understanding.

  5. I'm honored to be included in such great company. I've favorites your Tweet and hope my post does some good in challenging the beliefs of those who are holding back. Best wishes!

  6. Great collection - it's amazing to see the effect of a single tweet. Powerful kernels...

  7. Thanks David for commenting and again for such a powerful tweet. You are a Superintendent that I think we would all love to work alongside as well as learn and grow from your progressive leadership.

    Francis, I appreciate the comment and agree that 140 characters can spark much curiosity and even lead to a change in behavior. Very powerful!

  8. These are indeed some powerful statements. It's inspiring and wonderful to see administrators (and teachers) this passionate and progressive.