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Education in the Media, Leadership and Activism, Philosophical Meanderings

We need better PR

How do we organize? Who are the spokespeople? To whom do they speak? How do kids and parents voice their wants and needs? Can they drive this revolution?

How do we break into urban ed? Who are our allies there?

Which administrators will back our work and make it “safe” for others to join? As Monika has put it, how do we “validate and scale?”

How do we maintain our independence? How do we rally others and still champion our messy vision?

How can we invite stake-holders into new conversations, but politely decline to be drawn into the old?

How does CoöpCatalyst become a platform and not just a blog?


About Chad Sansing

I teach for the users. Opinions are mine; content is ours.


12 thoughts on “We need better PR

  1. Chad,

    Is this a picture you drew?

    I think about your last question often. You, in particular, do a great job of bringing discussions at the co-op to life in your classroom. But how do we scale-up what we have to offer? While I can’t be there, I really like the idea of a Co-op unconference during the AERO conference. Such an un-conference is a good idea anytime as well. While it would be ideal for us all to be in the same place, we could begin hosting Co-op unconferences as local nodes.

    I also think as we build our resources we will become more valuable. The more we can help provide not only the inspiration through theory, stories, and dialogue, but some connection to resources for how-to do this, we could contribute more to change.

    We could also act as part of a growing pool for PLN’s such as the one’s Monika is developing. Our membership could act as a roster for students and teachers to access.

    I hope this is a question that we spend some serious time on, because I think we are at the stage to develop Cooperative Catalyst 2.0.

    Posted by Adam Burk | June 1, 2010, 11:38 am
  2. I did draw that, Adam. I thought I would take a break from linking and go for a visual on-site, so to speak.

    I think, perhaps, that my real question is how do we position the amazing classrooms we find and create with students as platforms for #edreform?

    How do we go from practice to reflection and publication to replication of spaces that allow for innovation? How do we influence others without leaving our practices? Is this blog enough? What does it need to transform into a resource that sparks more change? Does it need to?

    Can we use social media to have unconferences? Do we try to partner with Eliminate? Host #CoöpChat? Offer to meet with folks via Skype? Formalize our offerings as sounding boards for change?

    I love what we do here. Our work changes my teaching for the better. I am satisfied, humbled, and privileged to share time and thoughts with our community. However, I am also open to exploring how we can lead and share in new ways with more educators. It may be as simple as inviting in more students, parents, and educators. It may be as difficult as finding the time to give even more to folks who’d like to learn with us.

    What do we think as a community? Where does our counternarrative go from here?

    Happily right here,

    Posted by Chad Sansing | June 1, 2010, 9:22 pm
  3. I have so many ideas and love all your questions here! I really think we should start by doing what you suggest having better PR! I think we should craft a PR letter or such that we can start to mail out that would can start the wave of our movement. Can we put our message in few hundred words and send it out to every venue possible, Newspaper, blogs, emails, social media, post cards, videos, etc etc etc.

    The venues are there, the soapbox ready for us and the need. Lets start telling people the WHY of our Movement. Maybe we should use this week to start to brainstorm what that might look like and next week crafting it.

    I am ready, who is with me!


    Posted by dloitz | June 1, 2010, 9:30 pm
    • I’m ready, David – let me get through the next few weeks and into summer so my schedule cooperates. The traditional August teacher work week might be a great deadline for a communications blitz.

      Thanks for imagining the breakout!

      Posted by Chad Sansing | June 1, 2010, 9:34 pm
    • David,

      Like Chad I think this is a great idea and am on board. However, I do suggest that we spend some time creating a comprehensive map of what we want to do with the Co-op moving forward based on why we do the co-op to begin with. Then, I see the PR piece being a perfect launching pad for what we decide we are going to do.

      Posted by Adam Burk | June 1, 2010, 10:22 pm
  4. doing a weekly learn central session would be cool. some means to talk live.

    i was intrigued by edu 2.0… wondering if that would be a good platform.. slide this site right on there? i don’t know – i’ve never used it.

    Posted by monika hardy | June 2, 2010, 12:52 am
    • Monika,

      What would a weekly learn central session be? We have used Skype in the past to have vocal contact with one another.

      I don’t know much about Edu 2.0 as I have not used it, but I am open to trying it. Anyone have any experience with it?


      Posted by Adam Burk | June 2, 2010, 1:33 am
  5. learn central is through elluminate.. but it’s free… i don’t remember the limit to the number of people… but it should suit us fine for now..

    skype now also has chat room capabilities. as does tinychat via twitter…

    i found a guy that has used edu 2.0 for a year and loves it.. he’ll help us after june 8.. if we want. he said it’s better than ning – very easy to use… could be a great home for us… where everything is linked.

    Posted by monika hardy | June 3, 2010, 7:53 pm
  6. Co-op,

    Monika and I have been exploring some chat forums including Junto and Tinychat. So far I am a bigger fan of Junto, but tinychat has some features to be further explored.

    We are thinking that by using face-to-face conversations in addition to our written ones we can accentuate and accelerate some work on the issues. We can use the platforms in a couple ways:

    1. General Chat
    2. Designated topic with designated speakers for the enriching process of watching brilliant minds work through ideas together.

    Also wondering about starting a #coopcatalyst, #cooped or #edcatalyst on twitter to include focused conversation times like #edchat.

    I think with the development of these new attributes of the Co-op, and further articulation of why we are doing what we do, we will be well poised to write our press releases.

    What do you think co-op?

    Posted by Adam Burk | June 5, 2010, 11:30 am
    • Both the video and hashtag discussions would be good ways to invite folks to change education and to find new ways to act on our ideas and ideals. Have we thought about a time or night of the week? Archiving/sharing? Will we post summaries?


      Posted by Chad Sansing | June 5, 2010, 5:57 pm
    • You may want to look into moodle as a more comprehensive platform for the the co-op. It is specifically designed to facilitate web 2.0 learning communities and has all of the features you’ve mentioned (chat, wiki, group and individual blogs, rss feeds/aggregation, discussion forums, media sharing, etc).

      It could also be used to publish/present learning moudules for our classes, and even provide a structure for letting our students connect with each other.

      I am deeply grateful for the insight and inspiration that I find in this community and would be more than happy to help set it up if there is an interest.

      Posted by Rick Ashby | June 9, 2010, 5:02 pm

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