Thanks to a Creative Leadership Forum blog post today, I learned about and watched Clay Shirkey’s YouTube video, “How cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history.” In 17 minutes, Shirley relates his views on what government officials need to understand about social media and the fundamental shifts we are witnessing in our communications landscape. These lessons are extremely important for educational leaders (including teachers) to also understand.

My favorite quotation from this video was:

From 2:24 of the video:

These tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring.

Ubiquitous access, or near-ubitquitous access, is key when it comes to the power of social media. This ties directly to what we see happening in schools today which have NOT yet gone 1:1 with student laptops, as well as to the relevance of cell phones as learning tools in formal as well as informal instructional / learning environments. As long as a hardware digital divide exists “innovative uses” of social media technologies will remain the domain of the early adopter group, and not the early/late majority.

I also resonated with Shirkey’s statement that the question is not, “Do we want to be in this media environment?” but rather “How do we best leverage the opportunities present in this environment?”

I loved how he identified the four main media innovations in human history, and supported his assertion that we are witnessing the biggest change in human access to the means of expression in our planet’s history. I also appreciated how he defined the communications landscape as being different in how media now simultaneously supports both conversations and the formation of groups.

H/T to Will Richardson for continuing to focus my attention on Clay Shirkey and the importance of his ideas for education, learning, and school change.

Lots of additional, good nuggets in this video, but I don’t have time to extract them textually now. After watching this video, what were your favorite quotations, ideas, or themes?

Maasai tribesmen at the San Diego Wild Animal Park - San Diego, CA - with cell phones

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