When Teachers Bash Teachers, Education Suffers

I love connected educators. While I have no hard data to prove this, I believe that educators who tweet, join live Twitter chats, and converse in Facebook, Voxer, and Flipgrid groups are better, in many cases, than teachers and leaders who are not connected.

My experience on all of these platforms is that these connected educators are working very hard to be the best at what they do. They share links to wonderful resources and articles about innovative teaching and learning, and they participate in some inspiring conversations that help me reflect and, in some cases, drive content at Times 10 Books. This is powerful, free professional development.

If you’re not sure of a tweet’s intended meaning, why not simply ask the tweeter what she means?

In spite of all the thought-provoking PD happening on social media, there’s still a problem.

As I observe a mountain of marvelous content on Twitter, I’m also seeing an increase in what looks a lot like subtle bashing of other educators who submit their ideas of “best practice.” I put that phrase in quotation marks, because many EduTweeters can’t agree on what “best practices” are.

This bashing, which some people defend by saying, “I was talking about the idea, not the person” is, surprisingly, prolific, which might make you wonder, How can this happen in the education space? These are adults, after all, who are supposed to model proper behavior for kids.

Someone recently posted the following tweet:

Good teachers will spend some time this summer thinking about how they can improve their lessons next year. That’s just what they do.

The tweet was liked thousands of times and retweeted over 500 times. I have to assume this indicates that thousands of people agree.

One popular connected educator disagreed, though, and replied to the “Good teachers…” tweet with this:

The rest of us crap teachers will use summer to rest and take a break without feeling guilty about not thinking about work. That’s just what we do.

That comment sparked a furious conversation that included tweets about unfollowing the author of the “Good teachers…” tweet. Others said the author should simply be disregarded for various reasons. Soon, more zingers followed in support of the popular dissenter, all seemingly aimed at disparaging the “Good teachers…” author.

One well-known connected educator defended the “Good teachers…” author, expressing shock at what he believed to be a “mob mentality.” This was swiftly met with the “I didn’t do anything wrong/ he didn’t do anything wrong” defense.

As I continued to read and offer a different perspective with a few tweets of my own, I envisioned a similar scenario in a different venue with different participants.

It looked like this:

A young girl at school was sharing a poster she’d created for a class project. A few kids liked it and said it was beautiful. Some asked the teacher to hang it up, so visitors could see it when they entered the room.

A few students, though, didn’t like the poster; they understood it to mean something entirely different from what the girl had intended.

They felt it made a statement about the kind of kids they were and that it smeared them in some way, even though they never asked the girl to clarify the poster’s message.

They said the girl had created content like this before and that she should be ignored. “Let’s not play with her anymore,” one zealot shouted. “Truth!” one of the popular kids yelled.

Soon, a few other students, who didn’t know the girl at all, heard the commotion and stuck their heads in the room.

They noticed the popular student shouting at the girl, so they joined in. It had to be the right thing to do, if the popular kid thought so. None of them, though, bothered to ask what the girl’s creation meant.

The ridicule continued. The people who liked the girl’s work lost interest, while the others became louder. When the teacher said they should stop, they shrugged and replied, “We didn’t do anything. We’re just talking about the message on the poster.”

Meanwhile, the girl, who had drawn a beautiful picture of three children with lightbulbs over their heads, dropped the poster and hurried out of the room.

One of the students who had wandered into the class picked it up and read a quote under the picture. It said:

Good students will spend some time this summer thinking about how they can be better students next year. That’s just what they do.

Thanks for reading and, as always, let’s try to hack learning every day.

Hacking Streaming Video: Breaking Down the Walls of School

Streaming video may be the most powerful teaching and learning tool ever invented, but many educators have absolutely no idea what it is. Some have a cursory understanding of streaming video but have never considered it as a way to engage both young and adult learners.

In Episode 50 of the Hack Learning Podcast, Mark Barnes investigates multiple streaming video applications and shares how this new digital super tool can break down the walls of school and help us interact with learners in new and amazing ways.

With well over 1 billion users, Facebook is by far the most popular social network, but it’s known more as a digital photo album than a tool for teaching and learning. Sure, Facebook groups can be used for like-minded people to share ideas, but only recently has Facebook joined the live streaming video world, previously dominated by Google Hangouts, Periscope, and Blab.

Live lets you connect with the people who care most. Your followers can receive notifications when you go live so they know to tune in to your broadcasts at just the right time. -Facebook

You may have seen many Facebook live broadcasts–friends sharing vacation moments or bringing you with them virtually to a Carrie Underwood concert–and never considered the opportunity to use the streaming video feature for education.

What if you could share some amazing hacks for teaching and learning or show off best practices in your classroom live? People might love it and, more important, it might help us reimagine how instruction is delivered.

Facebook Live Streaming Video

Mark recorded this video using Facebook’s live video feature, one day before Hack Learning Podcast Episode 50 aired (it’s embedded above).

Don’t miss more quick educational hacks with Mark Barnes on Thursday evenings on the Hack Learning Facebook page. Be sure to like the page, so you’ll be notified when Mark goes live.

How to live stream on Facebook

Facebook live video via Hack Learning

Choose Live Video 

Facebook live video via Hack Learning

Give it a title

Facebook live video via Hack Learning

Look for comments

Facebook live video via Hack Learning

Engage your audience

Live Streaming Video Resources

Learn about Facebook Live Video

Learn about Periscope

Learn about Blab

Learn about Google Hangouts On Air

Be sure to tell us which platform you prefer and how you intend to use live video for teaching and learning, in the future; use our comment section below.

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