As I reflect on the material for this week, I can't help but think about kids and sharing. As mentioned in the reading, in education sometimes our "inner 2 year old" may show up and want to keep everything to ourselves. My son is 16 months old as I am writing this, and he is just learning some of the sharing rules when playing with toys with other kids. Here are a few things I've noticed that mirror the reading:
1. If you don't want it to disappear, label your toys.
My son loves his shovel. We play in the sand at the park and he can't get enough of it. On Saturday, a little boy sat down and they were playing with the shovel together. Innocently, the little boy walked off with shovel and went back to his mother. His mother wasn't sure where the shovel came from, but she asked us-"Are you guys the Robertsons?" I said yes, and the reason that she knew was because we labelled it. Labelling online can take many forms, from either saying your name in a video to watermarks. But if it isn't labelled, even though the intentions may not be harmful, your favorite shovel may go home with and be attributed to someone else.
2. Go to the playground where other kids share.
My son and I have been to many parks, some better than others. Usually the quality of the park is drastically improved when my son makes friends. They swap toys, run around, and have a good time. Being around those who share is an enriching experience, which is why I love twitter. I've found people on Twitter that regularly share cool stuff, and in return, I share back. If I didn't share, they would still be there, but the relationship and the experience wouldn't be nearly as great. Twitter truly is my personal learning network, and I have read exponentially more interesting content since I signed up a few years ago than I ever would have on my own.
3. It feels good to share, doesn't it?
After the park, we talk on the way home. My son doesn't do to many full sentences, but I ask him lots of questions. I believe he enjoys his experiences more if he reflects on why he liked what was happening. For teachers, reflection on our methods and experiences are also extremely valuable. In the video, much of the blogging and vloging provided introspection on the teaching practices of those sharing the content. This is not only good for all of us who are able to see the material, but it also improves the teaching and understanding of the person posting the information.
Giving something of value away is often a unique experience in our culture. As educators we have the opportunity to not only get paid for our job, but to capture our content and give it away. This creates growth in society, improves teaching, and increases learning in both students we know and students we may never meet.