I watched this TED video by Derek Sivers a few days ago and it got me thinking about leadership in education.
In the video, Sivers describes how to start a movement. He uses a humerous video of a guy at a concert dancing and how a crowd eventually forms around him to illustrate how movements start. The main point I took from the video was about nurturing your followers, especially the first few. Sivers points out that it is often how we treat these first individuals that sets the tone for your movement because subsequent followers tend to mimic the first followers and not the leader.
I thought of @markwcarbone because of his leadership and vision for integrating social media in education. Initially there was a lot of push back on this decision and many would have equated him to the “crazy dancing guy” from Sivers’ video for taking such a position. But what has been interesting is that (I would argue) interest in and use of social media has increased because of this decision. I can only speak about what I have observed on staff at my school but there are more teachers using social media than before this decision was made. Now what is really interesting is that it appears that very few teachers are using Facebook in the classroom, though there has been an increase in awareness and understanding of FB privacy/security issues. In my school, teachers have begun to use other social media tools like Edmodo, Schoology, and Moodle. I find it interesting that the decision to unblock Facebook would increase the use of other social media tools. As a leader, @markwcarbone probably didn’t intend for this outcome but my guess is that he is ok with it because it serves the larger goal of realizing the potential of social media in education. This plurality in the use of social media seems to support Siver’s observation that new followers emulate the follower not the leader. What I appreciate about @markwcarbone is that he was willing to be the “crazy dancing guy” and has done a great job supporting “first followers” like myself in our use of social media in education. I think we are starting to see the beginning of a movement…
I thought of @kempscott because he is willing to stand out and be ridiculed for his innovative practices in the classroom. In other words, he is another version of the “cracy dancing guy”. On his blog, The Radical Tactical Shift, @kempscott lays bare his thinking about how education should change. His tagline, “being a shameless idealist ain’t easy”, glosses over some of the flak he gets for constantly questioning how we deliver an education to our students.
Any real leader is willing to stick their neck out and be ridiculed and I think both @kempscott and @markwcarbone are real education leaders who do this.
Therefore, education leaders, ”dance” like no one is watching and soon you’ll find yourself in a crowd.
May 2013 M T W T F S S « Apr 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
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