Say what you would like about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative…It’s the Federal government messing with decisions that should be made at the state/local level…or…What does everyone else know about MY students?…or…Another unfunded mandate that will have very little effect on students….or on the other side…Is it awesome that the Nation is finally working together on a consistent set of educational expectations…etc. This post was not intended to stir emotions or perspectives on the movement. What I intend to conjure up in your mind how this commonality between 46 states will be influenced by social media.
If you have not dove into the world of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, edmodo, or [insert the newest member here], then you may be missing some of the most collaborative environments available to educational professionals. Yes, believe it or not, many people are using these services for more than sharing pictures of their dinner, showing a friend getting kicked in a very sensitive area, or wishing a friend they haven’t actually seen in 30 years a happy birthday. Teachers, administrators, educational professionals in general, and stakeholders from all surrounding entities within school communities are engaging in conversations intended to foster innovation, the development of the community brain, and a sense of professional commitment to improvement. If you have not experienced this information overload, then go ahead now and see what you have been missing. It’s a virtual world worth exposing your brain to. I would not be the professional today without social media and the free flow of information that it provides.
How is this a complementary piece to the CCSS? Let’s just say that with the mass adoption of these expectations across a huge audience, it begins conversations between professionals much more easily. Think about it. I’m making lesson plans for the following day, it’s late, and I’m drawing an instructional blank about how to accomplish a certain task. Enter social media and the power of the community brain. In a very short time, there will be thousands of people ready and waiting to lend a helping hand with advice and resources.This will be especially true for the thousands who are in remote locations that don’t always have the opportunities to attend conferences, collaborate with more than their inner circle of daily contacts, or find like minded individuals to express their thoughts. A common cause or task equals a large army of people ready to tackle cause.
It is really as simple as that. CCSS equals a common focus, task, and overwhelmingly large community brain to foster innovations and solutions that are challenging modern education. It may be that the negatives of a common set of standards truly do overshadow the positives, but this is definitely one positive to be identified and celebrated.