Reluctant or Resistant?: Day 2 Reflections from the Jostens Renaissance National Conference

http://bit.ly/18f2RIJ
http://bit.ly/18f2RIJ
I’ve had the opportunity to present at several conferences or workshops the last couple of years about how we, at GLHS, use social media to tell our story. Each time I share examples, tell stories, and start with our “why” I notice two different responses: 1. Arms crossed, furrowed brow, and a blank stare as if to say, “this will never work in my school or district” 2. Pen frantically attacking the paper, head nodding in agreement, and hands raised with questions. I get it. I’ve had both reactions and have come to embrace, promote, encourage, and model the use of social media to share stories, highlight staff, make connections, and engage in the learning process through “chats.”

Inevitably, I am approached by teachers at the end of each session who ask, “how do I get my administration to allow mobile devices at school or to embrace the use of social media?” The look of despair in their eyes reminds me that while many educators across the globe use social media and web 2.0 tools to increase learning opportunities, to connect with others, engage learners, and share information, there are far too many who are still reluctant or resistant to it altogether.

Change is difficult, especially when thinking about having to change a mindset. However, we must continue to share successful stories of how teachers and students are using social media to positively change lives and impact futures. We can start by looking within our own building. We can then promote what other educators and students are doing from other districts. The more we share, the better the chance we have of turning reluctance and resistance into openness and acceptance.

If you are an administrator who has jumped on the social media bandwagon, tell your story in the comment section below. If you are resistant or reluctant, what questions do you have? In the meantime, take a look at the this video, which shows the impact social media has on our lives.

Be Great,

Dwight

2 thoughts on “Reluctant or Resistant?: Day 2 Reflections from the Jostens Renaissance National Conference

  1. I’ve been promoting the use of technology and social media for the past 20 years as a teacher and administrator. As more and more people “jump on the bandwagon”, I’ve become rather dismayed at the us vs them mentality that becomes part of most conversations that deal with the use of social media/technology. To avoid this, I’ve abandoned that approach and, instead, approach it with from a trust/relationship building perspective where we use whatever tools we can that are appropriate for the situation to build trust/relationships with our students/parents – capitalize on people’s desire to help and “do what is best for students” and promote learning in a variety of ways whenever possible. It’s well past the time when we can “wow” others who are resistant with “Look at that!” Instead, professional conversations about learning revolving around doing what is best for students goes a lot further in promoting change and building a staff-skill set where people can help one another than anything I have encountered. It works with students, parents and anyone who is resistant to changes that are taking place in education – most of the time. As an administrator who has the dubious role of “fixing” schools – changing mindsets and attitudes is something that comes from building trust and relationships, cannot be dictated from on high and will not happen without allowing people to begin where they are at, support them and help them and, then if necessary, have crucial conversations with them.

    I’ve never seen a staff/administrator changed by a presentation – I’ also do presenting. In fact, given poorly, I’ve seen it reverse progress that might have continued without an “expert” telling them what to do. You’re correct, we need to share stories of successes – but not until we’ve listened to the other stories – made a connection and then framed the story to fit the situation. After that, it’s supplying support and expecting changes to take place – not hoping that change will happen – that brings about change.

  2. Hi Kelly,

    I couldn’t agree more. Trusting relationships, support, and time are key to learning, be with students or adults. We all learn at our own pace and it is imperative to listen as you lead. Thanks for your comments!

    Be Great,

    Dwight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *