Collaboration: What’s Holding You Back?

I shared this video with our faculty during our summer institute last June and it made me think of a conversation I had last week.

While at the Florida Education Technology Conference, I met one of my recent new Twitter followers, Alicia. Alicia is a Curriculum Integrationist in Minot, North Dakota and works with my pal Craig Nansen. Alicia began really using Twitter just before FETC. When we met in person at FETC, one talk we had has stuck with me since.

Alicia’s thoughts (as best as I can get her wording): “When I started following people in Twitter, I began with people I know in person. Once I got comfortable with that, I started following people Craig Nansen recommended. But, then I realized, they were following me back! Whoa. I don’t think I have anything to share, so I got really worried about everything I thought about posting. Would it measure up? Would I measure up? I mean, you guys, you really know stuff. What can I add to the conversation?”

Funny thing is, I felt the same way when I first got started. Alicia has some wonderful thoughts and ideas to share and I hope she’ll continue to do so both with me and with the larger community of learners online.

P.S. Before I posted this discussion starter, I sent it to Alicia to make sure she was ok with my sharing of her thoughts and her Twitter name. Here’s her response:

“I would add that I’m usually not one to worry about what I have to say as I have presented at many conferences and schools around our state. A few years back when I worked for a state agency I presented to the Minot Public School District on Internet Safety. That was a group of 500 educators. Why would I be nervous about posting something on Twitter? It basically came down to I didn’t know my audience.

At FETC, I learned more from following people on Twitter and being able to choose whose audience I sat in (who I follow on Twitter). Now when I think of it, my followers choose to sit in my audience and would like to hear from me. If I could help one person from a Tweet, it is worth sharing.”

Can you relate to Alicia’s words? What’s holding you back from collaborating?

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