Why don’t we share best practices?

Article written by Education News Articles

Bill Selak is an elementary music teacher and an adjunct faculty member at Azusa Pacific University and University of La Verne.

For the first time in the history of teaching higher ed, another instructor is teaching the same material as I am. At our last faculty meeting, I shared most of my resources via Google Drive. To my surprise, someone actually looked at them, loved some ideas, and said, “Hey, Bill. Do you mind if I use a couple of these assignments?” When I replied with an edustoked “Yes!”, he was shocked. He felt guilty for taking. Why is that? We tell our students to share, to work together, and to be nice to each other. As teachers, we tend to not share. Collaboration seems to be the exception.


Here was my teaching schedule during my first few years:
7:30 am Walk to my classroom. Close door. Prep.
8:20 am Greet students. Close door. Teach.
10:15 am Walk to the lounge. Drink coffee. Listen to teachers talk/complain.
10:30 am Greet students. Close door. Teach.
12:00 pm Walk to the lounge. Eat food. Listen to teachers talk/complain.
12:40 pm Greet students. Close door. Teach.
2:15 pm Walk students outside. Wait for them to leave.
2:30 pm Walk to my classroom. Close door. Prep.

I’m guessing this sounds familiar. I don’t know why, but the expectation is that teachers work in isolation. There is no collaboration built in to the school day. There is no sharing. And staff meetings are rarely a place where true collaboration takes place. Typically, a principal talks and you silently listen.

Well, some of us do: on Twitter, Google+, and at conferences. Even at local conferences, I tend to see just two or three teachers from my K-12 district, and rarely (if ever) see anyone from higher ed. Those that do share, tend to share a lot! Since you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those people. We are the few that share ideas through social media, and that collaborate at ed tech events.

I think the physical layout of schools is not conducive to teacher collaboration. In K-12, our desks are in our rooms. In higher ed, I rarely even see another instructor. When you step back and look at this, it is completely ridiculous. There are so many eduawesome teachers that simply don’t share. I think they are willing to, but they just don’t. And that needs to change.

We need to share our best practices. We need to share our ideas. We need to share our lessons. The solution to this, however, is not an easy one. To get things started, we need to become social media evangelists. The basic tenet of social media is to be social. Places like Twitter make is easy to share our ideas, lessons, and resources. Our schools need to make collaboration a priority. Administrators need to give us time in the work day to collaborate. We need to spend time connecting with other, and sharing with each other.

The Importance of #EduBro…No, seriously it is important!

Article written by Online education resources

If you’re an educator who uses social media or visits blogs about education, then chances are you heard about it. Hashtags were trending, the blogosphere was abuzz, Memes were all over (and mustached) at ISTE 2012.  The dawn of the Edubro had arrived and we all bore witness.


Provenzano and Tim Gwynn started the #EduBro as a way to bring people together at ISTE 2011. They continued the hashtag and it gained popularity culminating with the two inviting Sir Ken Robinson, an international advisor on all things education and general superstar, to join them at an event the two were planning for ISTE 2012. It started off as a bit of a joke, but the two were shocked when Robinson responded via twitter to their invite. He declined, but EduBro was getting some serious attention.

Contrary to what Provenzano said in a recent post on his blog, “The Nerdy Teacher”, the EduBros are a VERY big deal. Provenzano points out the fact that the two were able to get #EduBro to trend worldwide, and their influence was felt by thousands as positive outcomes, but he fails to recognize some other rather large implications of the idea of EduBro.

According to The National Center for Education’s Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011 the teaching profession is predominately comprised of female educators. The study showed a decrease in male teachers to just 16% in 2011 from 18% in 2005.

The EduBro notion is important to education because it shows young male teachers that there are valued and influential men in this profession. For years we have heard about the importance of male role models in the lives of American students. Perhaps many more young men might consider becoming a teacher if they knew ahead of time that they could experience similar end results with hard work and dedication

The study also showed an increase in teachers younger than 30 years old (more than 1 in 5).  The fact that there is a new generation, both male and female, of teachers in schools today is important to note from an EduBro standpoint because these new younger teachers need mentors. They need the kind of mentors who are tech savvy.  They need the kind of mentors who are outgoing. They need the kind of mentors who are leaders. They need the kind of mentors like the EduBros

In the recent weeks the EduBro hashtag has all but disappeared from the twitterverse. I think it’s important to revitalize it, to make it as present as any of the other educational hashtags. At first glance it can easily be dismissed, waved off because of its comedic tones, but who ever said that education has to be serious all of the time? Some of the best lessons begin with a laugh.