A few weeks ago, as a part our bi-monthly #haysedchat, we talked rigor. Of course I got many ideas on how to increase academic rigor on our campus, but one of the biggest takeaways was the idea that academic rigor can by increased by asking students to de-compartmentalize knowledge and skills and to use what they know in different contexts and across different content areas.
So I reflected: How does that affect me as a digital learning coach on a high school campus? How can I support teachers in their pursuit of a more academically rigorous classroom?
And it got me thinking about finding “sticky” resources.
The idea was first introduced to me while studying public relations under Dara Quackenbush.
In a public relations/social media context, we want what we produce to be sticky — to keep our audience engaged for a longer period of time — to keep them reading, watching, clicking, and sharing.
Applying the same desired outcomes from social media posts to resources I share with teachers, I’ve identified five must-have qualities for a resource to be share-worthy.
1. Interesting…no really, interesting.
A cursory search for “engaging” gives us this:
I tried to think of something I’ve shared with a teacher that was enchanting or entrancing. Wracked my brain for anything mesmeric or captivating. It was a pretty short list.
That is to say it wasn’t much of a list.
I found I shared a lot of great resources, even super-helpful, time-saving, oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-believe-Google-can-do-that resources, but no more than two or three things that may have fascinated anyone.
2. Spark Curiosity
When we talk about developing life-long learners, we want to expose students to aspects of the world in which they may have no idea exists — then give them the time and resources to play with ideas. Resources for teachers should be no different.
3. Visually Stimulating
One of the quickest methods of driving someone off a website or resource is to make it ugly. If I want a teacher or a student to engage with a digital resource, it’s got to be beautiful.
4. Easily Shareable
If I have to send log in instructions or it requires some sort of wish to access the resource, I’m not sending it.
A big part of being a good resource is for it to be a part of a larger conversation — alive with: links to similar content and research, videos explaining or showing, accompanying social media hashtags and tweeps to follow, groups and forums to reach out to.