A year ago, one Skype call (and two months of hustle) led to the planning of the DigCitSummitUK.
This time last year, I spent the day after Thanksgiving celebrating and honoring connected educators as part of Connected Educator Appreciation Day, #CEduAD. The idea was formed in collaboration with William Jenkins as he adapted the idea from Community Manager Appreciation Day. The #CEduAD was about appreciation and also included a challenge.
For the past year, I’ve worked closely with William and his “pitch in as and when you can” motto is something I’ve observed in action whether he’s supporting EdChat moderators, educators and suppliers, events like the DigCitSummitUK, AGU GSV Summit, ISTE, or projects involving Pokémon Go or Microsoft In Education Experts. This year, his #CEduAD challenge is in support of the upcoming #SkypeAThon and encourages educators and suppliers to connect via Skype.
Why use Skype for this? Well, for one thing it will help educators who are thinking about taking part in the #SkypeAThon on November 29th & 30th to login and have a 1:1 test call before the event. Secondly, it will help improve the relationship between educators and suppliers and most importantly, without Skype, the DigCitSummitUK wouldn’t have happened and this is my way to pay it back and show my gratitude.
Personally, a year ago I would have said, “I don’t get it?” Why should I connect with a supplier? What’s the point of the “why” of the business? Either the tech works or it doesn’t, either I’m a fan or I’m not. Why should I take time out of my busy schedule to discuss this with suppliers?
A year ago, I didn’t get it at all, but a year later, I can share my journey. The why shares the story of the product and the company. The why is why users keep coming back. This past year, I have spent a significant amount of time talking to a variety of companies, learning about the why, participating in demos and ultimately viewing this relationship as essential for both parties.
Today, I took the #CEduAD 2016 challenge and Skyped with Paul Moss, founder of Degrumbler, a tool to help teachers solve the oldest homework problem in the world — homework overload. I was especially happy to take this challenge with Paul because he was one of our DigCitSummitUK speakers last January.
What I took away about the why behind Degrumbler was an understanding of the problem from the perspective of both an educator and a parent. Out of frustration, Paul created Degrumbler as a way for teachers to better plan and assign work from a student perspective. Our conversation reminded me of my own frustrations as an educator and how students would be overloaded with assignments and that tests always seemed to fall on the same day.
Glad that my year has been full of learning and growth and that it began and ended with a Skype call.
So, whether you are a supplier or educator, take the Connected Educator Appreciation Challenge. It is the perfect excuse to connect over the next few days in preparation for the SkypeAThon and why not put in a call or two? I’m pretty confident that one Skype call could end up being the best decision you could make.