Leadership and Innovation - Fanboying over George

I am a connected educator. Daily, I scour Twitter for fresh ideas and perspective. Through this PLN, I chat with people in other districts, states, and countries to help me be a better teacher, librarian, and technologist. I am a lifelong learner.

Case in point, I have the opportunity to present a session at the Tulare County Tech Rodeo in Tulare, California in January. I am very much looking forward to this event for three reasons: 1) I get to reconnect with some of my #TOR16 Google Innovator Cohort, 2) this will be my first out of state conference, and 3) I get to hear George Couros, the keynote speaker. I am currently reading The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros and taking graduate school courses to become a principal. I tweeted about my excitement to attend this conference and hear George speak. Moments later, he followed me on Twitter. A conversation with some of my #TOR16 friends, who will also be there, ensued and we discussed me fanboying over George following me on Twitter, us collectively hugging him at the conference, and getting great tacos is California. I woke up the next morning to a message from George Couros saying he thought we were hilarious and he would meet us soon!

So tattoo major geek across my forehead! Here I am reading a book by a leading educator and principal who is doing what I want to see done in schools. I talk about him on social media, and through that get to connect with him personally! I am a grown woman, and I think that is so cool!!!

What must our students think when we give them the world as their platform and let them connect with people they admire? Connecting them with authors, experts, inventors, adventurers, and more? Giving them an authentic audience and a voice and a way to join conversations with others?

Or, do we not connect them to the world. Several years ago, Gail Dickinson offered a great analogy at a conference session I attended. She said, "Imagine teaching students to drive. You let them drive around the parking lot in circles, but every so often you stop and point to the highway and tell them how they should drive on it, but never give them the opportunity to try it. You just drive in circles in the parking lot. That is how we teach students to use the power of the internet." I totally agree with her.

We need to give our students real connections to help them be future ready. That means less filtering and embracing social media for the learning tool that it is. That means letting student blog about their reading instead of just writing a book project that only their teacher sees. That means encouraging them to vlog about their curiosity and learning.

Open up the world to them and see what they can do, make, create, produce, invent. Lead the change towards innovation.


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