Saturday, November 6, 2010

Global Collaboration

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take part in the British Columbia Principal and Vice-Principal's Association (BCPVPA) Professional Development Representative training.  At this meeting were representatives from all around the province, representing 42 different school districts.  Towards the end of the meeting one of the members asked how could we share? Well that is a good question.

There are many ways that we could share, including a privately paid, restrictive portal that only members of the BCPVPA can access or do we do something that is wide-open?  Is there a place for both?  I guess it depends on what is being shared.  If we are sharing ideas, collaborating on projects that would benefit many outside of our group, shouldn't we be sharing this more than we are?  I understand that there can be documents that need limited disclosure, but professional development, templates and information that is beneficial to other teachers and administrators probably should not be restricted to a private portal.

The more we share, the more that is available out there, the more feedback we get on projects, documents, ideas and conundrums and therefor the more the very group we are targeting, the kids, benefits.  Why limit ourselves to a select group in a select area and not open it up to the world.  Blogs, Wikis and Googledocs are just a few examples that are out there.  We are putting laptops and internet connections in classrooms, supposedly to open up the classroom to world, yet we seem to be restrictive is how these resources are used and how the information is shared.  Its almost akin to bringing a kid to Central Park but limiting them to a 10 x 10 foot square.

I feel fortunate to have a superintendent that supports our endeavours and desire to extend beyond the curriculum, and work in a district where there are many amazing teachers on Twitter sharing their thoughts through articles, blogs and quotes.  I feel fortunate that there are many great educators around, but I do not feel that we have even begun to tap into the World Wide Wealth of information.  Is it a resource challenge or a way of thinking that needs to be altered?  I would argue it is the latter.  It is time we changed our way of thinking about how we collaborate and set the examples for out students for their benefit and ours.  So, what is the next step? 

I think this quote from @gcouros (  sums it up: If administrators are truly to be leaders, we need to continuously learn and connect with others to shape ideas.  We are the role models for our staff, students, and community.  You should never ask something of your staff that you are not willing to do yourself.


  1. Great post Remi, and I could not agree more that we can really expand our ability to collaborate as BC Administrators and beyond! I currently am a part of the BCPVPA Supervision of Learning Committee, and have just sent the executive some screencasts (through technology tweeted by George Couros) on how to use Twitter--I think it is an outstanding way for each of us to get different ideas from other districts, and will move BC Administrators in a positive direction.

    Look forward to working with you!


  2. Thanks Cale foryour thoughtful comments. We had a good meeting of the Pro-D chairs and I will be a part of a smaller group meeting to discuss how we can facilitate collaboration amongst us in the BCPVPA. I forwarded Chris Wejr's list of BC admin on Twitter and hopefully this is a start.