This sweet Derek Sivers video from provides a lovely little followup to my previous post, the ethical obligation of sharing. I want to clarify that it is not that I think there are many educators who are ethically opposed to sharing (there are a few, and that few is far too many, but only a few).
I think rather that it is obstacles, not opposition, which limit sharing, and I suppose the obstacles to sharing are three-fold.
One is time/energy/initiative: though sharing by publishing is now entirely free financially, it probably just seems too great an expense of these other precious resources to bother. That is understandable, but it is mistaken. Developing a familiarity with web 2.0 tools for sharing will take an initial learning curve of a few hours, but at the other end you will be a far more valuable and more greatly contributing citizen of our digital age, and you will then easily and swiftly be better able to influence the improvement of the education of children and the future of our society– something which is the moral responsibility of us all.
The second obstacle is an inability to appreciate the value of our own accomplishments: how could what I have to share be of value to anyone else? This second one is exactly the subject of the video above: don’t hold off sharing because you don’t know its value: share and let others determine the value, because sometimes, more often than you might think, they will. As the Sivers in the video says:
Everyone’s ideas seem obvious to them. But maybe what is obvious to me is amazing to someone else. We’re clearly a bad judge of our own creations. We should just put it out and let the world decide. Are you holding back something that seems too obvious to share?
The third obstacle might be fear of criticism (as Jacob Martens suggested on Twitter). I understand this– I do, and I have felt the sting– but I think that we as educators should be willing to model for our students and others risk-taking, transparency, and a willingness to be challenged.
Let’s support each other in identifying, confronting, and overcoming these obstacles: Post and Share for education’s advancement.
(thanks to Jonathan Schmid’s Tech Savvy Teachers Blog for sharing the Sivers sharing video)