I try to stay fairly active in sharing information, and it is interesting that from time to time I get asked why.
Why Tweet, post on Facebook, podcast, or blog?
I typically answer with something about expanding my PLN and putting information out on the Interwebs to the edu community. But that is a clunky and not totally complete answer. I knew it but didn’t know how to better explain why, until a couple months ago when I heard someone talking about context and contacts. The statement resonated with me.
A quick definition of each so we can be on the same page.
- Context – the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.
- Contacts – an acquaintance, colleague, or relative through whom a person can gain access to information, favors, influential people, and the like.
I talk a lot about influence, but never really made the connection between context, contacts, and influence. See, you do not truly influence anyone unless you have contact with them and the context is understood.
I have followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, subscribers to the blog/podcast and actual contacts in my phone. You could actually have the same people in your circle, but your context with them and my context with them is different.
The cool thing is I can not influence people within your circle like you can. You can not influence people in my circle like I can. We all have an important role to share…no one else has context with our contacts like we do!
What is also pretty awesome is we control our contacts AND the context in which we have with those contacts.
If we want to influence more people we can. We are in a time in which connecting with other educators is not only possible but fairly easy. If you are a PE teacher, search #physed on Twitter or if you are a new teacher search #ntchat and you will find people to connect with. It is truly amazing.
You can change the context in which other people see you in as well. If someone wants to be seen as an expert on Social-Emotional Learning they can. Do a ton of research, reading, following of others on #SEL and start sharing. Your context will change.
It is important to share and influence your contacts within your context because no one else can. You can read a previous post I wrote on why we need more people to be influencers in education. We Need More Influencers