I’m known for being a verbal thinker (that translates to “talks a lot, meanders, wanders, gets lost…maybe doesn’t end up anywhere recognizable…”) so it is a challenge for me to pare down the list of blog posts that truly surprised and shaped my thinking this year to ten. Ten is unfair, really. I mean, I could choose multiple posts from everybody I list below as top 10 material. C’est la vie; I’m challenging myself to be brief, to the point, and let the work speak for itself in offering these ten posts as essential, necessary, critical, send-them-to-Congress must-reads. These are the people I want at the helm of our big Education Raft – floating down that meandering stream…
To save you, the reader, from my slow, meandering meanders I will dedicate a Tweet (and not an essay) to each of these wonderful, inspirational, surprising souls that grace my Top Ten of 2013 (no numbering 1-10, that would assume “order of importance/perceived quality,” even if I said it didn’t…all of these are important to me in different ways). I thank all of them heartily. I hope to meet everyone someday (two and counting…). Most affectionately, Eric.
David Theriault on taking the “low road” to increase innovation in teaching and learning.
We transform spaces & they us. David’s blog is a jolt of freshness and JOY. Thoughts weave & layer until they breathe like something living.
“All things weaving towards awareness.” Leaders stay mindfully attuned to the texture & gradient of the path forward, end point unknown.
What conditions must exist for the best ideas to emerge, however slowly? Adults acting as neural network. Removing barriers, circling up.
Jackie Gerstein on learners developing their own EQs.
Education must nourish, not crush, children’s intrinsic use of questions as ways 2 make sense of the world and construct knowledge socially.
Brian Harrison – Stop Asking For Permission to Change.
Large scale change is result of “autonomy & connection;” organizations benefit & grow from small-scale tinkering, trying, testing, sharing.
Tom Schimmer – …and Don’t Be Afraid To Follow.
Strike the gentle balance between ego and humility. Leaders show confidence – & gain credibility – by empowering others.
David Culberhouse – The Ever-Evolving Leadership Mindset.
Water trickles downhill in droplets at first, gathering force as they converge. Leaders see ideas the same way & help them find confluence.
Kristen Swanson on the importance of a robust digital content portfolio to be a 21st Century worker.
We have the tools to make student work transcend the classroom & become an intrinsic piece of their digital CV. Tech isn’t optional anymore.
Ian Jukes on how digital platforms are disrupting education as we know it.
Digital tools bring about a shift in power. This disruption of traditional information flow is a key culture shift in classrooms & society.
Katy Foster on public reflection as an essential act of leadership.
Leaders can nurture an organizational culture of innovation & continuous growth by publicly reflecting on their own process of learning.
It has been interesting to see certain themes emerging in my final choices while whittling this list down (so painful!):
- Learning spaces (physical, digital)
- How leadership culture fosters (or hinders) organizational growth
- Adult learning mindset
- The slow, incremental nature of change
- A shift of focus – and power – back to the learners
I am grateful for all the means of connecting and communicating that have introduced me to such tremendous thinkers and educational leaders. Their work has enriched me immeasurably.
PS: Writing tweets to describe each post was incredibly challenging! “Creativity loves limitations” or something to that effect. David Theriault said it best in a GHO conversation with a group of teachers at my school interested in learning more about social media use in the classroom: Twitter forces us to use words that are “connotatively powerful.” Yes.