I went to a conference awhile back where a workshop presenter made the comment, "Every teacher should design apps. It's how we make sense out of content. It's how we make sense out learning. Avoiding this fact is negligence on the part of an educator."
While I see his point, I disagree. I make sense out of teaching through movies and yet I've never made a movie in my life. I make sense out of my content through novels and stories and yet I've only written two works of fiction. I make sense out of my world through long walks and through games of catch and yet I have created a pathway or sewn my own baseball. I learn from blogging and from discussion with fellow teachers, but I don't need to build the platform that I use to communicate or create.
I mention this, because I read an article (can't seem to find it) listing reasons why teachers should blog. Another post implored all teachers to use Twitter, because it will transform their practice. So will front porch conversations. So will a week in the woods. So will learning to ride a Harley or baking bread or getting really into an intricate video game.
If we say that students should find their voice and that teachers should differentiate instruction, why would we push all teachers to use a particular social network or engage in blogging? Instead, I would rather teachers find their passion and learn in the process. I would rather them find ways that they reflect metaphorically on teaching as they engage in things they love.
I would rather have a teacher who is passionate about living than one who really enjoys Twitter.
Ultimately, too, I want teachers to find their voices. I want them to speak up in neighborhoods and cafes, in their social circles, in cocktail parties, in political rallies, in churches and in theaters; and yes, even online. And I would love teachers to speak boldly about the real meaning of education and what standardization has done to that. Whether they use Twitter or a front porch is their prerogative. What's important is that they speak up.