Friday, April 29, 2011

The benefits of getting connected for educational leaders

World_Connected I began blogging last summer as a way to get some ideas out of my head, see if anyone else had any interest in them, and hopefully spark a few conversations.  After some time, I noticed that I was not generating much traffic at all and considered the idea a bust.

A friend suggested that I use a more comprehensive approach which led to my sharing via Twitter (@DrTroyRoddy) and Facebook (Troy P. Roddy, Ph.D.).  Since then, I have had a satisfying flow of visitors as well as “followers” and “likes.”

The point of this post is not to promote social networking, but rather to explain how my work to engage and develop a digital footprint has had an effect on my daily face-to-face work.  Here is a list of ways that I feel I have changed for the better.

  • My writing is better because I am doing so much more of it.  This improvement is felt in my emails and letters to parents, not just my blogging.
  • I am learning new ideas and am forced to reflect on my beliefs.  This is the only way I can gather relevant points to share in this blog.
  • My need to share has increased.  I no longer feel that my work is isolated or isolating.  Once I began to experience the joys of sharing, I wanted to do more.
  • My personal vision has changed because I feel more opportunities are available.
  • My anxieties about whether or not my ideas were valid have greatly disappeared.
  • I am in the process of writing two books.  One of which is a collection of thoughts and essays based on my better blogging efforts.  As a result, I already have close to 24,000 words on the page.
  • My desire to be a better leader in teacher training and professional development has increased.
  • I have presented at one conference and am waiting approval of another proposal for the fall.
  • I have developed a responsibility to uphold a standard to sharing for those who are willing to accept what I have to offer.  In other words, the connections I have made through these networks are important to me and I endeavor to serve them as best I can when I hit the publish button for this blog.

Of all the points listed above, the most surprising to me is the last.  The others were anticipated, if I chose to stick with the blogging, etc.  The final one was not expected.  I think this benefit has been the most powerful because it has caused me to reframe my role as an educational leader to include an audience that I may never meet.  This idea can be very overwhelming, but I am finding that the satisfaction of knowing others are listening and are taking something away from this exercise is still worth the effort.   

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