The Moral Imperative of Sharing
We are all on our own learning journey. All of us have different experiences and backgrounds. Some of us have been reflecting on the paradigm shift in education longer than others. No one else can accelerate the speed of our own journey but ourselves (self-motivated/self-directed), but there are also pieces to that journey, that no matter how much someone else shares, explains and models, we have to go through the process for ourselves in order to be able to make sense, reflect and grow. I believe that “sharing” our work as educators and our own learning, is one of these times.
That information George Couros is talking about only exists, because “someone” stepped up and shared. The concept of crowdsourcing information only works, because “someone” steps up to contribute a smaller piece, in order to create a larger source of information with multiple perspectives. We live in a sharing economy, a term that is being heavily discussed by many under the hashtag #sharingeconomy. I often wonder how this term is connected to us in education?
Sharing is a big component of the documenting learning routine, that is in the book A Guide to Documenting Learning: LOOK for learning, CAPTURE learning, REFLECT on learning, SHARE learning, AMPLIFY learning. Sharing is also connected to all of the so-called “Now Literacies” aka 21st-century literacies, modern literacies or contemporary literacies.
When we share, we are exposed to information literacy (how does information get disseminated when I share?), network literacy (who will be able to see what I share, how will they see it, when and why will they see it?) media literacy (what is the best form of media for me to share with a specific audience in mind?), digital citizenship (what is appropriate for me to share about myself and about others?), global literacy (how can I share across geographic boundaries, time zones, cultures, languages?) and basic literacy (how do I share what I read and write in order to express my ideas effectively?).
It is important to remember that the concept of sharing as an educator is the basis for most of the shifts we are experiencing in education. It is that sharing component that allows us to amplify, to redefine, transform, to create and experience new forms of learning. The phenomena and popularity of platforms that are changing teaching and learning, such as YouTube (webucation), Instagram (social reading), Flipgrid (social learning) or blogging (self-publishing) are build on the concept of sharing. If sharing did not exist, these platforms and tools would not have “worked” and grown and because of their existence “birthed” opportunities and new forms for teaching and learning.
I highly recommend Dean Shareski‘s K12Online Conference keynote, titled The Moral Imperative of Sharing. His message summarized a pivotal moment in my learning journey.
Other blog posts, I have written on the topic of sharing, which document my journey about thinking, living and experiencing sharing as an educator: