Last week at #iste12, I was able to meet hundreds of my Twitter friends in person, and one thing stuck out to me–they are all #EduAwesome. They are creating, sharing, and innovating. They are friendly, generous with their time, and eager to listen. These are not passive educators. These are people changing the education landscape.
This post is not a reflection of great sessions, great iPad apps, or great websites. Rather, it is a celebration of all that was #EduAwesome at ISTE, and all this is #EduAwesome in education.
Tim (@tgwynn) and Nick (@thenerdyteacher) started the hashtag #EduBros at #iste11 as a fun (and silly (filly?)) way to hang out with twitter friends. In 2012, they stepped it up a notch by inviting Sir Ken Robinson to their #EduBros party on Sunday night. Sir Ken did not attend, but he asked to be an honorary #EduBros, and he even mentioned them in his keynote!
Designed to inspire creativity and innovation in education on a fortnightly basis, The Infinite Thinking Machine was filming during the poster sessions at ISTE. Rather than explain what ITM is at their booth, they were recruiting educators to share ideas, both as text on post-its and interviews on camera. In an era with so much negativity in education, The Infinite Thinking Machine is a breath of much needed fresh air.
I was asked to head up the Social Butterfly Lounge at ISTE, and needed to find 50 volunteers to show teachers how to use social media as a teacher. Armed with minimal charm and the promise of a free t-shirt, I blogged and tweeted to recruit, and expected five volunteers. The old adage, “If you tweet it, they will come,” is apparently true. The Social Butterfly Lounge had volunteers during the entire conference. I am truly amazed at the #EduAwesome folks that helped out.
In education, we need to hear less about test scores, and more about things that are #EduAwesome. We need a change in attitude, a renewed spirit in education. Part of the solution to this is taking the initiative. If you have a great idea, do it! There’s nobody stopping you. A silly idea like #EduBros might end up trending globally on Twitter, or it might just make us smile a bit more. Either way, it’s fun and positive, and we desperately need more of that as teachers. And we need more of that in the field of education. Being #EduAwesome might mean sharing an #EduWin, posting a resource, starting an EdCamp or TeachMeet, or just retweeting a great blog post from a fellow teacher.
So create content, don’t just consume. Write blog posts, don’t just read them. Present at conferences, don’t just attend. Respond to blogs, and engage with other teachers. It’s really pretty simple. You have my permission to be EduAwesome.
So, if you’re ready commit to becoming officially #EduAwesome, here’s the next step. I bought eduawesome.com so that we could (literally) have #EduAwesome email addresses. If you’d like one, fill out the form below. When you submit the form, I will create an EduAwesome.com email address for you, and automatically forward it to your primary email address (I’ll never, ever spam this email address btw (that would be EduLame)). You can probably even get your first name–I’m firstname.lastname@example.org (which forwards to my gmail account). So now, #EduAwesome is more than just a hashtag–it’s an email address, a way of teaching, and a way of life. You’ll not only have permission to be #EduAwesome, you’ll also have the email address to prove it.