Twitter. Great innit?
Maybe this has to to with the arrival of the Early majority as described in Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation. I think this is the early majority of the group of teachers capable of engaging in the social network. so probably still the early adopters of the entire teaching population. The increased population has inevitably led to an evolution in the manner and focus of discussions. It is a testament to people such as Ewan Mcintosh and others ( who began it all??) that the wave of teachers discussing the future of education using social media
I enjoy engaging with lots of people on Twitter, but am beginning to find I need to engage with my peers in a discerning forum.
Things that have changed are:
1) More people are less tolerant of having their ideas or terminology questioned.
This results in discussions which very quickly become personally focussed and people lash out in often rude and unpleasant ways. The focus isn’t the idea, the focus becomes the people. I am guilty of reflecting others’ rudeness, particularly when someone supports an argument by suggesting they you need to be actually teaching in a classroom of Primary children to have any qualification to comment on it.
2) People are less concerned with the integrity of ideas and concepts and more inclined to echo misconceptions and poor thinking without checking the pedigree of the idea in the first place.
So What to do?
I need a group of peers who are more interested in the beauty of our field, the body of knowledge that exists, who want to share & develop ideas, attribute credit, not boast about stealing or pass others ideas off as their own. So I’m proposing an evolution and a new totem: #ImpactEduk or Impact in Education. (@impactEduk) It’s not a perfect title but it will do.
I have watched the development of several of the forums and movements and debated the idea of a notional leadership. The feeling of some others was that the democracy of the crowd would enable the best to evolve. I dispute that to some degree. I want to create an open tribe, but with an ‘eldership’.
There should be some rules which should be simple and follow some elements of the model developed in other forums. I propose the following:
We gather a list of ideas we are interested in debating.
We commit to exploring the evidence and research and gather together to discuss, critique and explore that idea.
We are objective, leave our opinions out of it and concentrate on what we know and can verify.
We archive and curate a legacy of evidence and research in each of the areas we explore.
We use the twitter account to follow those people ask to be part of the tribe, to try to give it some identity and
We discuss developing some kind of ‘eldership’ a group of those who feel committed to stopping the thing going feral, or have significant expertise to share.
We work hard to become an echo chamber of valid ideas, demonstrating impact, not half truths and opinions. We challenge and correct anyone who does so using the #impacteduk hashtag.
We attribute ideas to their source and seek the root of all ideas as part of our discussions.
I do not want to own this, I want to start it and give it away.
I guess this is the practical outworking of the wonderful #purposeEd