Sunday, December 08, 2013

Google+: Idea Share System

It occurred to me today that Google+ serves as a great idea share system for a learning community such as a school system. You're probably nodding your head wondering why it took me so long to make this connection especially since I belong to a number of Google+ communities.  I know the connection took time because it has taken me some time to really embrace Google+.  In fact, I'm still learning as evidenced by an error I made yesterday--small error, but an error that increased my awareness of the platform.

So how would you use Google+ for your learning community share?

First, create and define your community and notify those whom you want to be involved. For example, my share with "Wayland Public Schools" includes students, families, community members, educators, and leaders.  I recognize that's my audience, and I avail myself to the community's ideas and response. Create a list of protocols. Here are the protocols I'll use as I begin to share with my colleagues with greater focus:
  • Share with the attitude of "Here's what I'm doing? What do you think? Do you have ideas, resources, or questions for revision or enrichment?"
  • When met with quandary, worry, or potential problems, ask questions, and if the information could be embarrassing, contact an individual in person to discuss the matter. As information, teaching, and learning change, it's impossible for any of us to be exact with all facts, concepts, and approach, hence we need to curate each other's work, collaborate, and even debate.  If we don't risk teaching and learning about sensitive subjects, deep content, and thought provoking questions, we will not prepare children well--hence we need to be open to learning, revising, and developing our practice.
  • Give credit when credit is due, and if someone shares without credit, let them know. In this age of idea share we have to move forward in this regard with best intentions--we won't be perfect due to the rapid speed and volume of ideas.
  • Think about the whole community: What will benefit the whole community? How will our collaboration and share impact our collective work and contribution to the learning community? 
  • Use names mostly with permission otherwise don't use names. The only time I use names without permission is if it is a clear, direct compliment that is publicly known and embraced.
  • Don't expect feedback or response unless a direct request is made to individuals. Have the attitude that the information is there for the taking, but "the taking" is not required.
  • Share information that's easily shared online and serves to start the curation process. This will save valuable time for teaching children a well-crafted curriculum program.
I've noticed that nearby systems are beginning to use Google+ and other social media platforms with greater intent and share. Groton-Dunstable and Burlington are two systems in Massachusetts that I notice sharing to the learning community with intent, focus, and breadth. There are probably others that I am unaware of.

Is your learning community branching out to social media with greater transparency, share, and collaboration?  If so, what are the positive results of this share, and what are the challenges? Is this a direction that you value? If so, why?  If not, why not? Have you written about this? 

The system-wide idea share systems I've been longing for are probably right here before my eyes via Twitter, Google+ and more.  I plan to think more on this in the days to come, and I welcome your thoughts and ideas.