Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Assessing and Adjusting


I have written a lot about the importance of being open and transparent and about be willing to learn and grow from your mistakes. This post is written with those two ideas in mind.

One of the key ideas in learning and growing is to be able to assess the situation in an open minded way and then adjust or tweak as necessary.

About five weeks ago I began for myself a 30 day blog challenge which I completed a while ago.During that time others have joined and we have 20 people participating at some level or another.

My first assessment: Given the time of this challenge many people were busy getting ready for the new school year and possibly a blog a day was too much ( to date  one other person completed the challenge)

Therefore, how can I/we adjust. Well, I first asked myself what was the goal or the purpose of the challenge. First of all it was personal. So each person got what he or she wanted from the challenge. Second of all it brought people together that may not have connected and fostered a sense of collaboration and learning.

So overall a success, but I felt an adjustment was/is needed. So we are still working out the details,but the prevailing idea to keep up the momentum and the collaboration and sharing is to blog at least once a week with the hashtag #weeklyblog and to set up a monthly chat to share ideas and offer support.

Three years ago I with two other friends started JEDCHAT a twitter chat for Jewish educators. It gained a lot of momentum that first year, however over the years for various reasons it has lost some that momentum and appeal. Based on that assessment, we changed the date and time, however, that still hasn't done the trick. One person commented that they prefer a real conversation which does exist on FB where you are not restricted in characters. 

We have made some assessments and adjustments, but at this time those haven't helped. 

So right now I question is chat format still viable? Do people want it? And if yes,what can be done to restore  the excitement about it?

Stay tuned for what adjustments are coming


  1. I think you are posing some very critical and difficult questions Akevy... which speaks to the transparent & inclusive nature within which you lead & work. I admire that... it is one of the leadership qualities that many struggle with.

    I think there is something to be said of the way in which learning communities come together, and subsequently thrive and grow. Within those moments it seems as if the community can never be deterred from their end goals. What do we do then when the group starts to fizzle out?

    In all the research I have investigated for my masters work, this is more common than many of us think. A true community of practice comes together to meet the needs of the group, and as those individuals connect and collaborate, sometimes they find themselves outgrowing the community. While it is one of the most organic cycles I have every come across, it can be difficult, because the community's time together is finite.

    I guess what I wanted to share is perhaps bitter sweet... just like our children are growing up and standing on their own two feet, so might the group be doing much of the same. The community empowered them to be courageous & adventurous in the first place.

    Celebrate such a wonderful opportunity to see such wonderful growth.

    (If you are interested in any of the Virtual Learning Communities research look for Dr. Richard Schwier's work).

  2. Jana
    Thank you for your very insightful comments.
    Let me ask you a question
    What if there is more growth potential for the community is it worth fighting for
    I don't know the answer but I think some communities stay around and the members change like an edchat as an example. So how do you balance that
    Again just more questions
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Great questions...

    I wish I knew the answer. I guess it all depends... who deems that there is more growth in the first place?

    I truly believe real learning is self -directed and in my experience self-guided. An informal group that comes together will always be more successful that the one that is hand picked, chosen to work together for a common goal.

    I guess in the end those that feel the community needs to evolve and grow as they see fit. They will continue to investigate & connect with other like minded individuals... perhaps it isn't the community that is evolving ... it may just very well be the individual:)