Kleon outlines ten ways that we can use technology for sharing our work and becoming “findable” (p. 2). When we have established ourselves in a massive personal learning network of co-conspirators, then we can demonstrate to our students that we are life-long learners who seek out the good work of others, too. We can’t demonstrate the power of sharing enough for our students, that we are not in this journey alone. When we transfer that same energy and power to our students, the curriculum becomes alive and innovative for them. When they realize they can speak up and create a voice, the technology becomes an asset. What’s more exciting is that we send students into the rabbit hole of connections and teach them to document the links they make, both literal and figurative. This doesn’t only make learning real, it makes it relevant and fun.
Watching Casey Neistat’s “I Love Instagram” video, and also laughing at the cleverness of Abraham’s “22 Words” post, simply echoed all that Austin Kleon discussed. As Neistat says at the 1:30 mark in his video, “This album’s not precious because of the photography; it’s the documentation of life.” Well said, sir. Like Casey Neistat, Austin Kleon’s work is fascinating to me, too, because they are able to make their story understood through their art. I feel like I know Casey’s passion and more of who he is, simply by the voice of his 4:11 video post, and I’m sure the same could be said through his Instagram posts. There’s big power in the story of photos, as demonstrated in the “22 Words” post. But students won’t really understand the humor of that post without understanding the context of each author’s work and history. What a perfect way to connect the content with the technology in an innovative way! We all have a story to tell, and we need to emphasize that to our students. They’re valuable assets to the world. They all have tacit experiences that need to be voiced, and when they learn to establish residency through various social platforms, including blogs, then we can really make an impact as “teachers.”
I realize that I’m in the midst of something really big here. We are living in a world where our story matters, especially as leaders. When we are transparent, we feel the empowered by the validation from our students, peers, and self. When our students are transparent and validated, then we are a real learning network. We can focus on the digital citizenship, the creativity, the real collaboration and great work to share to authentic audiences. Why wait until graduation? College? We can emphasize sound content understanding in our classrooms, and make that realized in our own stories. I am excited to see my students, from grades 7-12, really discover themselves and their voices, while also learning innovative ways to produce good work with the content I teach them in class.
Kleon, A. (2014). Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. New York: Workman Publishing Company.
Instagram I Love You. (2012, Oct 2). CaseyNeistat. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/ooUEDz.
Abraham. (2013, Sep 11). If Great Authors of the Past Posted to Instagram (and Other Great Authors Commented). Retrieved from http://goo.gl/bthoY2.