Why #Edtech People Are #StickerJunkies & You Want To Be One Too
It had to do with stickers.
Automatically, that last sentence should make this blog post more interesting. If you’re in education, you like stickers. It’s a genetic predisposition in educators. If you’re in education and you don’t like stickers, your alien masters need to add that to your programming.
But Edtech People Especially REALLY Like Stickers
I mean we really like them. Most of us collect them, put them on our laptops, and some of us even put them on our phones.
But most of the time as a practice in the edtech sub-culture none of us think about it. All the cool kids are doing it, and we’re teachers--so we already like them, and we end up doing it without question.
Not too long ago, my friend and fellow #edtech coach/integrationist/TOSA/presenter, Ryan O'Donnell (@creativeedtech), had a few tweets on the #StickerJunkies hashtag inviting us to post pics of our laptops. I, like so many of my fellow #edtech nerds, responded with sharing out the stickers we have plastered all over our computers--mainly MacBooks. It was fun, and there were quite a few rounds of “You have a(n) _____ sticker! I WANT!”
For instance, with the right eyes, you can look at all 4 of this laptops in the picture above, which belong to educators in three different school districts (Salinas, Fresno, and Lake Tahoe), and know the following:
- They’re all pretty Google-y
- All of them know or have been to a session with Susan Stewart (@TechCoachSusan)
- So they’re interested in or value K-2 edtech learning and teaching
- But only 2 of them went to her #K2CanToo conference
- All of them know or have been to a session with me, Josh Harris (@EdTechSpec)
- His sessions focuses on presentations, so their interested in that
- Also, he tends to focus on mastery at an intermediate or above level
- They all participate in the #TOSAChat twitter chat
- So they likely are or were Teachers On Special Assignment, and see value in instructional coaching
- They’re all regular twitter users They probably also know (or are) at least one of the 4 regular moderators of #TOSAChat
- Even though all 4 have have Alisal Edtech stickers, only two of them work there...can you tell which two?
- One of them is clearly an edtech administrator based on one of the vendor stickers prominently displayed on the laptop.
“sticker swag helps tell the story of where I've been, what I've done, what I'm passionate about. I enjoy seeing my stickers and remember connections I've made to others who share the same passions and interests that I do. Plus, they're a great conversation starter.”
The edtech community responded in mass. I am planning on sending mine to her in the next few days. But by far the one that made some of us jump was a response tweet from Roland Aichele (@EdTechMinded)
...now, at least 2 of us covet the Android in the Google Classroom T-shirt, visible at the top of the pile. It’s a cool sticker, yes, but we also happen to be passionate about Google Classroom and its ability to make edtech integration and edtech based instruction more accessible and easy for teacher and students. We think that tool is one in the toolbox of 21st century pedagogy, and that's a thing we care deeply about. It's not just about a neat sticker.
How The Edtech Sticker Fetish Can Lead to Greater Connectedness In A District.
For me, it's a little closer to home...and work.
Personally, I have a sticker addiction. On my office wall is the lid to a previous laptop case that I kept and hung, because of the stickers. There’s a ton of memories there. My personal MacBook has a layer of stickers right on the aluminum shell of the laptop and then I bought a translucent case, so I could put on more stickers.
If you look closely, you can see them through the red case.
My team (half-)jokingly talks about staging a #StickerVention.
I even order stickers for my job. These are some of the stickers (and magnets) I have had designed and bought (out of pocket) for my team and district. Shout out to StickerMule, they do excellent work and their product is awesome #recommended.
When we go to our County Office, or any other function, even if it’s just our laptops, you can always spot the Alisal Table now. That gives us a feeling of team and pride. People who don’t work with us sometimes ask for one, or get one as a small token. The TOSAs on my team Ben Cogswell (@cogswell_ben), George Lopez (@NewImpulse) and I have been handing them out like candy, or posting the stickers and magnets in conspicuous places all over the district.
And here’s the thing we’re excited about. We’re trying guerilla marketing in our own district. We’re going to try to get more of our site leaders and teacher leaders to be more connected to the edu Community online, and for us twitter is the gateway drug to that. First, step, the rest of the year we’ll be giving these out, putting them up in classrooms and staffrooms, front offices and anywhere else we’re allowed to place them.
Starting next year we’ll start posting flyers and posters drawing attention to the stickers and magnets to generate attention and interest. Then as a department, we’re planning twitter challenges for everyone. Some will be about teachers, some about administrators; some will be whole district, some will be school-by-school, some might even be school-vs-school. We’re trying to gamify self-driven being a connected educator and online professional development.
The point, our goal is threefold:
- Get our teachers and admin to actively use a social media channel for professional learning
- Telling our own stories from the classroom, front office, and DO
- Exposing our folks to people and connections beyond our their school site.