Monday, January 21, 2013

Twitter as the new petition...

The overthrow of governments. Coup d'├ętats. Revolutions. Coups. Takeovers. Turnovers. Upheavals.

All of the aforementioned events have occurred throughout history in each and every nation state, people group, culture, society. Each has begun with some type of uneasiness, discomfort, displeasure, anger, and even malice on the part of one party toward another. As societies have attempted to become more civilized; we have instituted silent protests, sit-ins, pickets, and even written petitions in the place of violent mutinies. Perhaps, the most used form of peaceful protest in modern society is the petition. I have been approached on a number of occasions over the last 15 years to scribble my "John Hancock" on a piece of paper for one reason or another. Whether it is legal, spiritual, political, or even social… these petitions have a way of expressing solidarity in getting one group’s point across.

However, in recent years, we have seen a more digitalized form of the petition. The “Arab Spring” of 2011 and the “Occupy Wall Street” movement/protests in the fall of the same year each began with individuals who were displeased and started to opine through social media, thus enlisting thousands in the form of an “online petition.” You see, the very term “petition” is defined by Webster as “an urgent request.” In both of the historical instances referenced above, there were groups of people who had urgent requests. The communication of the requests was expedited through social media mediums such as twitter. How does this impact education?

Recently, I had students who wanted to change our dress code for a day. These students began to overflow our school’s twitter feed with mention after mention, requesting for their idea to be considered by me and my fellow administrators. Because of the respectful manner in which our students went about their request, we granted them their wish of rearranging the dress code for a day.

Are we to teach historical protests in school? Are we to impart civics? Are we to instill the principles of the first amendment to the United States constitution?I believe we are to do all three. If you agree, then let’s start with integrating social media into today’s schools. Just as protests have evolved over time and throughout history, the very use of the petition is now evolving before our very eyes. Instead of starting a written petition and waiting until the paper copy of the petition has traveled from door to door, individuals now have the power to instantaneously make an urgent request , share it with others, and have the request spread exponentially. If our students are going to go about petitioning in a respectful and peaceful manner, then we must acknowledge this phenomenon, embrace it, and facilitate it with our digital natives and millenials.

What do you think? Do you agree that the way we petition is changing? What are some ways you see the change of the petition take place? How else is the petition changing?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My 10 Goals/Predictions for 2013


Now that we are 10 days into 2013, (and just for fun) here are 10 goals/predictions (5 of each) for the new year. I will review at this year's end with updates and analysis. Let's go!!!


1. Begin to write a book (thinking of writing a book that appeals to everyone through the lens of the learner--- focusing on the mental, spiritual, psychological, and emotional aspect of our lives).

2. Double my followers on twitter @drizzinkwine , increase number of retweets, and favorites (expand my influence through social media)... at the time of this post, I was at 375 followers.

3. Increase my readership on this blog: "Drinkwine at School" (at the time of this post, my most read post was was read 400X).

4. Speak at one major conference/summit/retreat this year on the topic(s) of education, leadership, technology.

5. To have one date night per month with my wife, my son, or my fast-arriving daughter.


1. This will be the new BIG tech trend of 2013: LEAP Motion. You can follow them on twitter at @leapmotion It is a relatively affordable peripheral too!

2. Social networking and gaming (twitter, blogging, edmodo, gaming) will not only be allowed in schools, but will be recognized as a valuable learning tool and will be utilized regularly in most schools.

3. We will continue to see a decrease in student enrollment in our nation's schools as more students see they can obtain learning through online formats and through social networking. See this video for more:

4. Email, facebook, Skype will all be used less this year as the rise of Direct Messages on twitter, tweets, and face time continue their ascent to the top of the communication food chain.

5. My Vanderbilt Commodores will reach 10 wins for the first time in our football team's history. It will be a landmark year for the Commodores!

***What about you? What are some of your goals and predictions for the year 2013?