Thursday, September 19, 2013

What Bees Can Teach Us About Connecting and Activism...

Recently my wife and I were having a discussion about the lack of "Giants," in today's world. We had just watched this clip from The Daily Show, where Robert Reich was talking to Jon Stewart about having worked for Robert Kennedy, and lamenting that there are no "giants," like Kennedy or Martin Luther King, Jr. to lead us in our world today. 

Then the next day, my wife heard activist, Bill McKibbon interviewed on "The Take-Away," about his new book. He too was talking about the lack of a giant to lead on a topic like climate change.

The excerpt that really stood out comes when he talks about bee colonies, and their lack of a specific leader (2:15). 

They turn out to be remarkable creatures. We think of the queen bee as being really important, but in fact, she's really good at laying eggs. It's the rest of the hive that manages to conduct itself in a kind of leaderless and powerful way. And for me that became a metaphor for the kind of movement that we're trying to build to fight climate change. We don't have any great leaders, no Martin Luther Kings. What we have are an interconnected thousands of groups around the country and around the world, who understand that they're fighting against the fossil fuel industry close to home, but that that fight has a global dimension and we're able to come together...

It got me to thinking about educators, and the importance of educators connecting. Recently, Lisa Nielsen and Tom Whitby, two people who are part of my personal learning network posted about their experience "connecting" with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and being followed by him (By the way Duncan's list of people he is following would be a great start for Open Online Experience Twitter newbies!)
As individual educators, we may not have as much influence, but as we connect and build connections, much like the bees, we can become a driving force!

It was one of the reasons I attended Scott Meech's Edubloggercon session a few years ago that launched EduWin

We may lack giants as leaders in education, (though there are a few folks that Duncan is following who might fit the bill!), but collectively together, we can grow, learn and affect change. It is why I am a connected educator, and why I encourage you to become one too!

Join us for Open Online Experience this year! Next month, we will be hosting events tied to Connected Educator Month, to grow the connections even further. 

We may not be giants, but like the bees, we can work collectively to learn, grow and improve education! 

To learn more about Open Online Experience, please take a moment to view Debbie Morrison's presentation from last night. 


Brendan said...

The whole idea of crowdsourcing just kind of gets stronger and stronger doesn't it.

Michael Walker said...

I feel as though there are some positive things happening through connected collaboration. There's a lot of $$ advocating for the wrong things. We have to keep putting kids first!