I often use many of my fathers quotes while teaching, and thought of one of his sayings while putting together this post. Dad used to say "No man is an island". I feel that his sentiment and instructions can be taken alongside a speech given by the character Jack in the now completed LOST series which aired on ABC.
The "Live Together Die Alone" comment that sets the premise for the series LOST is easily carried over to PLN and collaboration. How so? In that every person touches another through their life. People do not fully realize the impact that their life has on other individuals, nor the comments and suggestions they may make to others.
If we fully realized this concept could you imagine how much could be accomplished by everyone working together to achieve a common result? Take this thought a step further. Is this not what education is all about? If we as educators are attempting to achieve the same results with our students, then why do we battle over new or different ideas, concepts, and strategies?
I had the wonderful opportunity earlier this month to conduct a workshop in my district. It was the first time in a number of years that I have had a chance to lead and introduce material, concepts, and technology. Our overall theme for this workshop was T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More). The initial focus was on how even a small number of individuals can impact the learning environment through working together and collaboration for achievement.
This T.E.A.M. concept was an effort to explore and examine the needs of our students, Internet best practices, and individualized instruction methods utilizing technology. I was appreciative of the thoughts, comments, ideas, and input of the wonderful colleagues I am able to work with.
Furthermore, I was thankful many of you took the time to answer the 3 Simple Questions in our GoogleDoc. (Feel free to continue to add more as we will keep it open through September). This real world collaboration demonstrated so much more for the workshop participants through the real time collaboration than I could ever have attempted to explain.
I am learning how effective collaboration can be, particularly when the ideas are shared by the entire team. I am also learning to be patient as the PLN, PLC, & PLT ideas need to be developed to be effective. As stated so well on twitter by Andrew, a.k.a. @crudbasher.
Wisdom in a Tweet! Thanks for the simple but profound statement. It is so true, particularly as I look to focus on collaboration this upcoming school year as a way to increase student achievement. A big thank you to all who have helped me see the power of working together.