We have passed a fundamental tipping point in the evolution of human connectivity.
For millennia, big ideas spread through a highly-constricted pipeline. Masses of humanity listened to a handful of political, religious, or social influencers and followed where those few led. Humans were a metaphorical crowd of 10,000 people listening for one good idea from each of ten people.
Today we are a metaphorical, and very real, crowd of 10,000 people sharing 10,000 good ideas. The power of this is staggering.
What does this mean for educators? It means that we have to, and can, stop waiting to be told what to do. The big ideas that will change our profession and the experience we offer to our students MAY come from the principal, the superintendent, the author, or the consultant. And they may just as well come from another teacher or a student, in your school or almost anywhere else in the world.
The only way to take advantage of this new superpower is to connect with more people in new ways; to create, consume, and share equally. The density of your connections matter, for you, your students, and your school. Important connections are no longer one-way or top-down. They are every-way. It is messy…but it is freeing. And it does not require permission.
Or you can stand pat. But there is good evidence that passivity leads to “death” in a time of dramatic evolution. Where were you as a company in 1900 if you had said, “We don’t need those telephone things?” Where were you as a teacher in 2000 if you had said, “I don’t need to know how to use a computer; I am never going to use email.”
Those who get in the game, get to play!