Week 11: What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?


Fullan states in chapter 5 of his book Leading in a Culture of Change, “If you remember one thing about information, it is that it only becomes valuable in a social context.” (2001). We just had a nice Twitter session about this concept and it was the consensus of the group that information should be shared with others.  We should not “hoard” information.  For example, sending people to conferences to learn something, but when they come back, they don’t share anything!

One way to share information is through EdCamps.  Kristen Swanson states “The Edcamp model provides educators with a sustainable model for learning, growing, connecting, and sharing.  Everyone’s expertise is honored, and specific, concrete strategies are exchanged. ” (2016)  I have never heard of this model, but it makes sense and it values everyone’s experiences and knowledge.  Kristen states that anyone can plan an EdCamp, and the sessions are unknown until everyone is in attendance.  I think we all can share something of value in these types of gatherings.  I think I could share how I have students create math art such as tessellations, Escher-type tessellations, mandalas, perspective drawings, and origami.

Bob Dillon states one way to share knowledge is to use your PLN (Professional Learning Network) by systematically sharing, and don’t assume people already have the information. (2015).  I think this last phrase is what I am guilty of most of the time.  If I know something, someone else should know it too.  Sometimes it is true, but we can’t assume it’s true all the time.  At the same time, I’m guilty of not sharing.  I suppose it’s worse to not share valuable information than to share mediocre information.

Tom Whitby has a nice modification to PLN by stating that it is Personalized Learning Network, in fact he states it is “a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time.” (2013)  He is a firm believer that Twitter is the “backbone” of PLNs.  Your resource is the globe!  It’s interesting that the courses for my Ed Tech program at UAS use this as one of our methods of sharing, and connecting with other educators.  It’s amazing to connect with people around the country, even in Europe (one classmate was in France for one of our sessions!)  He suggests that we spend 20 minutes a day interacting and collaborating via Twitter, or blogs, or Google +, or education groups.  It’s a mindset he states.  I have had a chance to participate in most of these in the last year and it’s amazing.  I feel bad for not doing this on a regular basis with my fellow math teachers at my school or district!

Tom also wrote another article Okay, I’m Connected.  Now what? He states that we need to take the ideas we learn as a connected educator to our non-connected educators. (2013)  This is a true way to increase our “knowledge pool.”  He also advises us to convince colleagues to connect so we can all benefit.  This, in essence, is the core of this week’s essential question.  If we can all connect and share our knowledge, we can rest assured that our education system will allow our students to have the best educational experience possible in the 21st century.

I have lived through the transformation of not having much technology in my early years of teaching, and now we have a plethora of technology literally at our fingertips.  It is not an easy transition for seasoned educators my age, and I admit I am a proponent of using technology to its fullest extent in the class and in school.  The technology we possess can be used to make our system better and connected, for both teachers and students.  We just have to convince all educators to share their knowledge!


Dillon, Bob. (2015). 21st-Century PD: Retention, Reflection, and Redistribution of Knowledge. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/21st-century-pd-retention-reflection-redistribution-bob-dillon

Fullan, Michael. (2001). Leading in a Culture of Change. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Swanson, Kristen. (2016). Why Edcamp? Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/why-edcamp-kristen-swanson

Whitby, Tom. (2013). How Do I Get a PLN? Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/how-do-i-get-a-pln-tom-whitby

Whitby, Tom. (2013). Okay, I’m Connected. Now What? My Island View. [blog] Retrieved from https://tomwhitby.com/2013/08/02/okay-im-connected-now-what/


3 thoughts on “Week 11: What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?

  1. I am also guilty of thinking if I know something it seems like everyone else should know it as well. I am also guilty of not sharing information unless I absolutely have to such as at a staff meeting and I am asked a direct question. This is probably for the exact same reason of they have to already know what I know, most of these people have been teaching far longer than me and have a lot more experience. I guess after reading this week I have realized maybe that’s not always the case. I’m from the technology generation, so I think it’s safe to say that I would be able to give a lot of helpful information to someone who is teaching but has taught for a long time before technology hit the classroom, kind of like our mentorships. I think I need to realize how much information I do have about technology and make sure I share it when I can so that others can use these technologies in their own classroom if they choose.


    • I had a few students make a shocking comment in my Statistics class today. They said that I am the first math teacher to really try to encourage the use of technology in their math class. These students are seniors! I’m sure you can help mentor teachers that need help with technology, and you should. If we are to encourage technology use in our students, we need to do this in class, EVERY class. Teachers need to be comfortable, maybe not more knowledgeable than students, but comfortable with utilizing tech in class as much as they can. It was nice to know that there are a few teachers in our high school that use Kahoot. I know that has been mentioned in our classes multiple times. But I feel our school is very low tech, and it needs to change.


  2. I also feel guilty of not sharing. I think teachers are just expected to already know the information and just figure it out by themselves. I mentioned this on another blog but I believe it comes down to school leadership. If they don’t value professional development or knowledge sharing then it will only come down to the teachers giving each other info when they pass in the hallway or maybe the short conversations in the parking lot.:)
    It takes dedicated time and mutual trust to build a healthy and productive collaborative environment. But I agree with you, we just need to be better about sharing what we know with those who will listen. It should be easier now with all the technology at our fingertips too.


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