I had never heard George Couros speak before... I'm pretty sure I just heard the collective gasp of a thousand educators. But somehow, by some cosmic fluke, I had missed out on numerous opportunities to attend sessions where George was the featured speaker. However, I'm happy to share that I have now joined the ranks of those who have laughed and learned alongside him. And I was able to share some of my learning as a participant in the "Edge Players" session organized by Elisa Carlson, Surrey School District's Director of Instruction, via the #sd36lead hashtag. In fact, many of the educators who attended yesterday's session shared their learning via Twitter. And there was a great deal to share. But some of my most profound and impactful moments can't be found by following a hashtag. These were the "non-tweetable" moments.
You see, I've discovered George's secret weapon, his superpower. He shares. A lot. And when he shares, it makes others want to share as well. Without a doubt, much of what he shares in his sessions can be found online. He writes extensively on numerous, wide ranging and diverse topics. He is prolific on Twitter, connecting, sharing and engaging with his followers on a daily basis. But yesterday, in a room full of inspiring, creative, caring and innovative educators, I would argue that some of our most profound and impactful moments were in fact the "non-tweetable" moments, those moments when we had an opportunity to speak freely, to share our insecurities and fears, our challenges and concerns.
You see, this kind of sharing requires a context, a shared experience, a common understanding. It requires an earned trust and a willingness to risk. And George's secret weapon is that he goes first. He began by establishing the parameters for the "non-tweetable" moments, and we followed his lead. And because of this, as much as I learned from George during the session, I don't think he will be at all offended for me to admit that I learned even more from my fellow #sd36learn educators.
I am passionate about the power of Twitter as a platform for incredible professional learning and growth. It provides opportunities to connect and collaborate on a global scale. But at the same time, some of our most impactful learning comes from an opportunity to share and learn from those who are closest to us, the people in the room.