Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Passion Leads to Pursuit, Which Creates Connections

I have been reading the Power of Pull by John Seely Brown. I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy and start reading. Brown discusses the "Big Shift." The Big Shift has been characterized by a profound transformation in the way information is exchanged and also, how changes to the digital infrastructure connects individuals together in a manner that challenges traditional forms of scholarship and power.

In Pull, Brown talks about Yossi Vardi. Yossi Vardi founded his first company when he was 27 years old and over the past four decades, Yossi has been involved in launching 70 Israeli tech companies. Yossi was also instrumental in helping Larry Page and Sergey Brin make some critical decisions regarding Google. As was quoted in the book, Yossi is one of the best connected people in the world.

Brown cited an intriguing observation regarding Yossi. At conferences, Yossi spends a majority of his time sitting in the hallways as opposed to attending lectures. This is not to be rude, but instead, Yossi enjoys engaging conference members in informal conversations that could potentially lead to an enduring connection. Yossi assumes that people attending the conference share similar interests and passions and that these informal interactions could open the door to greater possibilities as ideas are freely exchanged. I just found this observation to be interesting and it caused reflection regarding the need to connect with those who share similar passions.

Schools would seem or rather should be a perfect place to cultivate connections between individuals who share similar interests. A critical element is to create a school culture in which educators are encouraged to follow their interests and embed these passions into classroom experiences. Teachers who share their interests will enhance the likelihood of establishing worthwhile connections (both parties benefit from the interaction) and consistently engage in an organic flow of knowledge.

Looking towards this upcoming school year we should all be willing to share our passions and be provided with the space to pursue interests inside of school. Students will benefit through learning engagements that are authentic and genuine. Educators will grow professionally through a viable social network.

The title of the post, "Passion leads to pursuit, which creates connections" should be kept in mind as we get closer to the start of school and begin to solidify goals and how we can accomplish personal benchmarks.