I have been to a number of professional development sessions lately. The subject of engaging our students is a hot topic and has been discussed in a number of educational forums. What I find is amazing, in all the workshops, conferences, etc. I attend, is how willing many of my colleagues are willing to share. Since being on-line, over the past couple of years, colleagues from all around the world have been sharing with me. When people share, offer suggestions/help and comment on your efforts/thoughts it is so affirming. If we feel like this then surely students would also enjoy this aspect of learning. This spirit of collaboration and support would also be appreciated by our students. They would be engaged if they were sharing and collaborating with more than just the teacher (and maybe their class). In fact they are when they have had opportunities to exhibit/present their ideas.
However we all know just how often in schools sharing is sharply limited for teachers, let alone students. A teacher I was working with is so keen to share and collaborate with teachers, not just in our school, but other teachers or schools. She has just started to see the potential but there is a long way to go before many others understand the power of such collaboration. I believe it will change, although I sometimes worry about how long it is taking to even get a toehold in some quarters.
I have been talking about Creative Commons licenses to students for 2 years. They “get it” but teachers are slower. It is odd because many teachers do not understand copyright and often have to be reminded that, just because you are using something in a school, you cannot simply copy things in their entirety or en masse. You would think that they would have been right onto CC but not so.
This is another video that explains the idea behind the creation of “Creative Commons“. I like this one because it is very inclusive in its outlook, not limited to subject/topic, culture, etc.
The Creative Commons video, “A Shared Culture,” makes a strong case for sharing content and empowering people to share their voices and perspectives on the global stage. I like how this video recommends that we should be thinking about building a sense of community as well as sharing content. I would love to throw out the challenge to colleagues at my school and have everyone think about at least one thing they could share, “out there in the digital world”, each term. Easy?!