I’ll blame/credit Stephen Downes for leading me down this rabbit hole. I read his OLDaily every day. If I do nothing else, I enjoy his commentary on the articles that he shares and, more often than naught, I’ll follow a link or two in his story summary to learn more.
This past week, this came across.
And off I went!
It took a bit of work because the links to Twitter didn’t work well with the new Twitter but eventually, I got it to take me to the right place. And what a deep rabbit hole. It all started with a conversation inspired by this Twitter message.
Along the way, I ran into opinion and shoutouts against a couple of people who have left the profession early and made a job of speaking. One person mentioned that she had ended up being blocked by this person. Follow the second link in Stephen’s story for that one.
It also leads to this article from a couple of years ago that will have you thinking, I hope.
The bottom line is that Edutwitter Celebrities or EduCelebrity isn’t something that you want to necessarily aspire to be! Link above actually goes to a parody account. It’s worth the click to read the timeline.
I couldn’t help but draw a mental comparison to your typical educational speaker before Twitter. Certainly, I’ve sat in that audience and listened to many a professional learning event speaker waxing on about what I was doing wrong and that my classroom should be more like this mythical classroom that is so well described but never really identified which makes you think it might be the things that dreams are made of.
In my work with ECOO and the WesternRCAC, I’ve hired many a keynote and have tried to avoid the speaker who drops in for a canned speech, collects her/his cheque, and then departs. I always insisted on having a breakout session immediately after the keynote called “A Conversation with …” where those who want to dig deeper on the concepts from the keynote and to challenge some of the statements given. The response when explained to the potential speaker can range from “That’s a great concept” to “I’m not coming if those are the rules”. Maybe afraid of saying Stupid Things?
One of the drawbacks of the popularity of social media platforms is that anyone can promote anything (and usually do, starting with themselves). We talk about media literacy so much – is identifying the true person behind the handle something that should be on the list. You had better have nodded to that sentence.
I’ve delivered many sessions myself and always enjoy the opportunity to talk about things afterwards. I think that it forces you to prepare better, make it relative to the potential audience, and really know your stuff. I’d hate to be called out on a fact or two that I couldn’t defend.
It’s called “making it real”. So, if I had to define #Edutwitter Celebrity, I think that would be the tipping point for me. It’s not about describing the ideal school with perfect students all achieving at huge levels and creating moon lander simulations with Micro:bits or some other technology that you don’t have and probably never will. That school doesn’t exist. It’s about describing concepts and practices that work in the mix that all classrooms have.
It’s also about those that put themselves out there by describing their professional practices and weaknesses and entertaining suggestions for improvement or enhancement. Quite frankly, that’s what inspires me to identify great Ontario Education bloggers every Friday. These are real classroom professionals talking about their own little corner of education reality. They’re the ones that you are to believe and to learn from.
My celebrities from the past week include:
So, here is a complete list of my personal #Edutwitter Celebrities’ blogs.
And, a tip of the hat to Stephen for bringing this discussion to my attention.