This reminds me some of the #beyouedu movement that +Dr. Will Deyamport, III shared out. And, with that, the most important thing you can do to grow the conversation is to be you.
I've had this discussion with other educators before: the definition of connected can change. When I think about some of the teachers I've worked with - both in rural and urban schools - I can think of those who are connected by our modern sense (involved in social media, have a global audience) and those who aren't. And, though some of the unconnected teachers are not doing as innovative practices as they could, many others are. And, likewise, some of those we consider connected are not as innovative as they appear.
I like to call this the Facebook effect. You know those people. The ones whose lives seem absolutely perfect. They have the beautiful home, the two adorable children, and the time to workout and eat healthy. However, if you know them in real life, they are, well, human. It's okay to be human online. It's okay to not have it all together because, really, who does? But, this needs to apply to being connected. Because those educators who are connected often fall victim to the Facebook effect, it can appear that their experience innovating is also perfect. We need to be real. We need to be willing to be honest and portray the things that don't go right.
This honesty, this humanity, this being you is what will bring more people and perspectives into the journey. For some of my teachers, entering a "glory pit" of connected educators, sharing only awesomeness, can be overwhelming and can be a deterrent.
It's also critical to note that being connected, in itself, does not make a great educator. Being connected broadens your classroom and exposes you to more innovation. However, putting those ideas into practice, creates innovation.
To get more voices in the conversation, we have to make the conversation more inviting. We have to welcome those voices. We have to be willing to hear those voices. We need to help those voices be heard. With every great thing, there is always a negative. And, with social media, everyone has a voice and an online identity, but those identities fall victim to the same things face-to-face ones do. We begin to walk up the ladder and surround ourselves with others of the same feelings and ideas. This is what I call the glory pit.
The key to bringing in more voices is opening up the dialog and opening up the pit.
Are you stuck in the glory pit? I catch myself doing this from time to time. When I do, I make sure to surround myself with others who don't feel as I do. I think movements like #beyouedu and EdCamps are perfect opportunities for exposure and for humbling of ideas.
What about you? How do you open it up?