Friday, May 9, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 129

Being current means having a deep understanding of the world so that we may help others #change it.#QuoteADay #Day128 #edchat #edu #edreform

Currency (not to be confused with the type used to buy things) is an important characteristic for all school leaders to have (the money thing is certainly useful too :) ).  Remaining current means that we can not only discuss happenings around the world, but that we deeply understand them to the point where we can use them to better our work as leaders and learners.

Staying current isn't easy, as it requires a tremendous investment, and often deep searching that we rarely have the time to do and too often lack the energy to complete.  And yet, if we don't stay current, we stand little and less chance of being able to bring our community to the 21st century and beyond.

Currency in content and skills is important.  In fact, in a world where finances were no object, school systems would benefit from the addition of a school currency officer, a professional whose sole role was to stay current on world happenings in the field of education, and disseminate and integrate that information with the people and areas that need to know.

In an even more perfect world, the school or district leadership team would have enough time to do all of this work themselves.  Yet in a world increasingly consumed with mandates, this is becoming near impossible.

Of course, that doesn't provide an excuse.  Regardless of how little time we have, we need to make sure we are up-to-date with the newest research and latest trends.

There are a number of ways to do this.  One easy way is to use social media, such as Twitter, to follow the "big names" in education.  As an avid Twitter user, I've been able to gain timely knowledge as it happens, and then share it with those who would find it useful.  Professional organization memberships, such as to ASCD and NSTA, are great ways to read recent research and opinion from those who have spent their careers exploring various educational fields.  Finally, leaders can make use of various news summary services, such as the Marshall Memo (which I can't get enough of).  These tools boil down what's happening into bite-size pieces, and in the case of the Memo, are provided to subscribers once each week.

Regardless of how you stay current, the implications for doing so are tremendous.  By knowing what is happening and sharing it with others, we can better direct the change we want, and need, to happen.

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