One year ago today, I ventured into the unknown social media world to develop my professional presence and expand my career potential. To date in one year, I’ve tweeted 6,889 times to 1,194 followers. In one year, I’ve posted 65 blog posts, visited 5,652 times by individuals in 76 different countries. We truly are in an Age of Mass Connectivity.
In the 20th year anniversary of Wired, contributors were asked to catalogue the previous twenty years in computer and technology. For his contribution, Kevin Kelly (@kevin2kelly) asked those working in startups in the Bay Area about their dreams. What follows are some of their thoughts:
“The next big thing will be a new way of deciding what we innovate.” –Michael Glass, Scribd
“We are in a creative revolution of how people work.” –David Albrecht, Crittercism
“This is the age of mass connectivity.” –Santosh Jayaram, Daemonic Labs
“We are widening our collective eye.”
What does this mean for educators, though?
As a friend of mine said,
The purpose of classroom walls should be to keep the bugs out, not trap the learning in. #satchat
— Sean Junkins (@sjunkins) February 2, 2013
Education needs to join the Age of Mass Connectivity. In the past year, spurred by Will Richardson’s (@willrich45) visit to my school where he urged me to start blogging, I did just that. I also started chatting on Twitter more. I engage in weekly Twitter education chats. Social Studies chat on Monday nights from 7-8PM EDT (#sschat), Educational Technology Chat (#edtechchat) on Monday nights from 8-9PM EDT, Education Chat (#edchat) on Tuesdays from 7-8PM, Parent-Teacher Chat (#ptchat) from 8-9PM EDT, and Saturday Chat for educators (#satchat) on Saturdays from 7:30-8:30AM EDT. I obviously cannot do them all, every week, but I engage as much as I can. This connectedness bore fruits in the past school year.
Because of my social media presence, I connected with New York Times bestselling author, Kenneth C. Davis (@kennethcdavis). He Skyped with my students twice in October, he was so impressed that he came to my school in March.
— Justin Staub (@MrStaubSTEM) March 15, 2013
During the same time, I connected with Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director for the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education.
— -Jeff Goldstein (@doctorjeff) October 17, 2012
After a series of connections, Dr. Goldstein, who leads the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, came to my school to announce the winning team sending their experiment to the International Space Station in November.
Today, my students were in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, receiving official citations for their accomplishment.
— Eric Daney (@EricDaney) June 11, 2013
Then, because of my willingness connect, I attended EdCamp Philadelphia and met Angela Maiers (@angelamaiers). Then Angela came to my school and encouraged my students to change the world. I don’t doubt they will.
Educators need to connect. In just one year, I’ve managed to do more for my students than I did in the first nine years. Connections help break down walls, walls that in the 21st century are only good at keeping the bugs out. We live and teach in an Age of Mass Connectivity. Reach out and explore. As Dr. Jeff Goldstein says, it’s only with leaving your comfortable place (your home) that you will gain a new perspective of where you are. If you do not press into the “unknown” of a connected classroom, you will never know what possibilities lie on the horizon. Make it your goal this summer to connect. Share this post with someone who is reluctant. Share your experiences. Find out what happens when you stretch to new horizons.