Tom Whitby,@tomwhitby, called for our professional learning network to speak on October 17, 2010 to positive reform of America’s educational silos. 118 edu-bloggers from all walks responded with cogent, passionate messages from the heart. The REBELSbloggers wallwisher and @ericmacknight’s blog site archived these blogs on behalf of the PLN.
graphic courtesy of: http://speedchange.blogspot.com/
A week later in rereading these incredible posts, I couldn’t shake one of those philosophical questions of college days gone by. “If a tree falls in a forest, and no-one’s around to hear, does it make a sound?” I feel that our voices are somewhat like that. The intensity of our daily calls to action forms a cacophony in my mind. I hear. Members of our active twitter and blogging communities hear. But, if politicians, the media, the business community, senior citizens, and many others including our colleagues aren’t in our network, “do our voices make a sound?”
November 22 provides us with another chance to unify our voices for real grassroots educational reform. It’s almost Thanksgiving and there’s nothing we should be more thankful for than the 1000s of Statue of Liberty schools in this nation whose doors are open to all. To be thankful, however, does not mean we need to maintain the past. Ira Socol, @irasocol, captures that perspective in his Blogging for Real Reform post about November 22.
Let’s continue our work just one month after Tom’s initial call to action. We know we need to form a new era rather than just reform the factory schools of our past.
Write about policies that don’t work and what we should do instead. Write about learning for the future such as advanced in the National Educational Technology Plan. Write about your passions for teaching the contemporary learners you serve and what you need to support your work. Write about the educational changes our young people deserve from educators and politicians alike.
Let’s make sure our voices are heard on and after November 22. The American Association of School Administrators and the Virginia ASCD both have taken a public stand to say, “let’s continue this call to action in the social media world” by supporting the November 22 date on their websites. Paula White, @paulawhite, of the cooperative catalyst graciously has set up a site for archiving links similarly to Eric’s site.
Our links from October 17 and November 22 need to make a sound beyond our “forest.” Let’s not just write, but also share work with local media, national media, politicians everywhere, the Secretary of Education and the President of the United States. Our educational associations, many of whom have a social media presence today, need to hear us. We know the names, the emails, the twitter addresses, and blogs of those who need to hear educators’ voices. We just need to share.
Through our positive efforts, let’s create a movement for grassroots education reform. Seth Godin in a Ted Talk says that a Tribe becomes a movement when passion for change is ignited. I like to think that October 17 wasn’t just an event but the beginning of a movement. If you are active in any one of our chat networks and the Educators’ PLN, help publicize and encourage everyone’s engagement on November 22. Post your social media voices at cooperative catalyst and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
Then, take it a step further and share your favorite posts or all of them from both October 17 and November 22 with those who need to hear from us.