I have just finished Margaret Wheatley’s book Turning to one Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. It’s a wonderful book to read, and reread often, if you believe in the power of conversations or want to be reminded of their power.
I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. ~ Margaret Wheatley
The book is a combination of thoughts and poems to reflect on. Thoughts like the one highlighted in the image above. I agree, ‘Conversation is the natural way we humans think together.’ (p. 46) As leaders we need to create environments where conversations can happen naturally. Where our staff feel comfortable sharing their ideas and do so in a way as to not jeopardize the respectful climate that exists. Where active listening and open thinking is the norm. If we can create the time and space for these conversations our institutions will be richer for it.
As leaders we also need to take some time to have conversations with our family, friends and ourselves. During the past several months I’ve been giving myself the time and space to reflect. Reading Wheatley’s books have given me direction for my thoughts to fly from.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of her book, and start with the conversation starter questions that speak to you. A couple of my favorites:
- What is my faith in the future?
- What do I believe about others?
- What am I willing to notice in my world?
- Am I willing to reclaim time to think?
- Can I be fearless?
Are you willing to reclaim time to think? If so start with reading some of Wheatley’s books… next up for me Perseverance.
As a newly certified Google Apps for Education Trainer, I’ve been meaning to write about using GAFE in education, amazing apps and extensions, or some other wonderfully insightful post. But as I navigate this new role, the trainer groups and all the resources out there in the community, I have come to a conclusion that I need to start with those. So, here’s my top 3 ‘go to’ places to find out about Google Apps for Education.
The Gooru: Your complete guide to everything Google. Sign up for the newsletter, download the ultimate guides (Drive, Gmail and Admin) and you’ll have everything you need.
How I use: I have the guides and refer to them if I have specific areas to learn about. All the posts and information can be a bit overwhelming and that is why I subscribe to their newsletter. When the email comes to my inbox I scan it to see what the highlights are and if it is something that peaks my interest (or I have a need to know right now) I click on it and read it.
Control Alt Achieve: Transforming Education with Technology. Eric Curtis is a Google Apps for Education Genius, and his blog is a plethora of current ‘need to know Google know how’. Just recently I got Jeopardy templates for Google Slides, learned about Virtual ruler and protractor for Chrome, and How to Play Youtube Videos Safely in Schools. Eric also has a Youtube channel and newsletter. You should follow, subscribe and check his resources out. His posts are easy to follow and packed full of useful information.
Google+ Communities I would be remiss if I didn’t include all the wonderful Google+ Communities that are available for you to join and learn from. Whenever I have a question, or I get a question from a teacher that I don’t know, I immediately go to my communities and within minutes usually have multiple answers.
And that is the best part about Google Apps for Education. When you are a GAFE user, you are a part of an amazing community with people who share, learn and grow together.