“Connectors first, content experts second”

The article, “World Without Walls” allowed me first to reflect on how much I have benefited from the aid of online experts and communities, both in my personal and professional life.

Thinking first in my professional life, the likes of Twitter and Facebook groups have provided me with instant answers to questions proposed about teaching and learning. Twitter chats such as #pypchat & #kinderchat, for example, offer free, consistent, and content specific expertise for both “the lurkers” and the active contributors.  Speaking of Twitter, expertise, and a world without walls, the social media platform offers everyone a chance to go straight to the source by reaching out to all sorts of different industry professionals.  Here are 49 other ways to use Twitter in the classroom. 

I loved the phrase, “connectors first, content experts second”.  Even within my own personal life, I look to Youtube or Google for quick quality content like, “How do I play this song on a guitar?” or “How do I cook this dish?”.  The instant connection,  endless results, and possibility to rate, like, or provide feedback is a priceless process.  Not to mention how much time it saves me or the fact that this learning can occur anywhere as long as I’m connected. In turn as a prosumer, I naturally want to give back and reciprocate the help I so easily received throughout this process.  Enter the collaboration age!

Discovering the Collaboration Age?

One reason why Google Docs works so well is due to its emphasis on real-time collaboration.  To me, the most powerful hard truth coming out of  Will Richardson’s article  is the following snippet,  “the most effective teachers will be the ones they discover, not the ones they are given.”  This type of student ownership is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the past, and it’s unwise to attempt to resist it.  Remember, “connectors first, content experts second.”

I think it’s safe to say that we all can benefit from the Collaboration Age and the sooner we actively embrace it and actively contribute to it, the sooner we’ll all be a bit more connected to our passions. The sooner we’re all connected to passions, play, enjoyment, growth, and learning can ensue.  Perhaps even the desire to give back and showcase what we’ve learned.  Perhaps, if we didn’t have the walls to house us in the first place, we would continue to find new innovative ways to connect, create, and share altogether.

Final Wondering?

In discussing the ongoing and on growing content created online, Richardson asks, “How do we ensure that what we create with others is of high quality?”  I’m wondering, is this where digital citizenship and responsible use comes into play?? If so, how soon do you start to teach it to your student?  Kindergarten???

Would love to hear your thoughts COETAILERS!