Online collaboration – there is no try, just do


It has been 12 months since I made a commitment to get involved in online collaboration and sharing knowledge and resources with other educators and leaders from around the world. This stemmed from a workshop that I attended at the ASCD Annual Conference in Los Angeles. I went away with a feeling of being “compelled to share.”

So what has happened in 12 months?

Well my blog is well and truly up and running. I have been given some wonderful insights and resources by following educators and leaders on Twitter. Not only new ideas have been gained but some of my own thoughts and practices have been affirmed. I am able to refer my colleagues to new resources, which they are now benefiting from. I have also been able to join some collaborative projects, which have given me a new sense of energy. I enjoy being able to contribute to the Connected Principals Blog – a great initiative sharing the thoughts of many practicing Principals from around the world. Through collaborating on this project, I was fortunate in receiving an invite to be on Principal Center Radio to discuss the topic of consultation in schools.

More recently, I have got involved with #EDUin30. I love this idea – 30 seconds to share a small piece of advice or information about important aspects of education. Each week there is a different question posed by @gcouros such as “what helps build relationships in your school?” The project has been going about three weeks and I have really valued the contributions by those compelled to share. It is a challenge to share some thoughts in such a short time but there are some gems that are worth listening to.

My initial attempts at using social media to collaborate as part of a wider education community were futile prior to last May. I gave it a try but I was not really committed. Recently, I have spent a fair bit of time with my six year old son watching Star Wars and listening to the wise words of Yoda, I have realised that my experience over the last 12 months can be summed up with this quote: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

It sure feels uncomfortable at first; you put yourself out there, you take risks, you learn new things and forge new relationships. It’s worth it.

Published by Richard Bruford

Richard is currently Secondary School Principal of Suzhou Singapore International School, one of China's leading international schools. He leads workshops across the Asia-Pacific region for the International Baccalaureate in the areas of pedagogical leadership and approaches to teaching and learning. Richard consults with schools on the topics of school improvement and effective implementation and use of technology. With a background in public and independent school education in the UK and Australia, Richard is enjoying his international school adventure in China. He is passionate about developing and supporting educational leaders, as it is essential to improving all schools. Richard is a proud family man and feels lucky to be married to Kim and father of their son Austin. In his spare time Richard enjoys to swim, bike and run and is a now retired football player and coach (with occasional guest appearances)

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