I have spent quite a bit of time reading and educating myself on the heavy hitters in the education reform movement and have come to a conclusion, the very same conclusion I have about what to know as learner and teacher. How do I become a more effective learner? Whose ideas and thoughts should I be reading to enrich what I know? With so much online, who should I read, what blog should I follow or not follow, and who thinks most logically about what they are saying? All good questions.
The nearest answer I have is to curate what you read. Curating, in my book, is reading or viewing something, deciding whether it is worth while or not, and then use some strategy, mine happens to be curating to Diigo/Evernote/Feedly, giving an opportunity to go back and read what I decided was good information. Effective curating means a person is probably using (what I call The Big 3) which are information literacy, digital literacy, and media literacy skills to say, “Hey, this is good stuff and I need to know this stuff to move me forward as a learner.” Those may not be the exact words, but I think you understand what I am saying. To curate, a person really has to be decided about the quality of information.
Back to the point. Exactly who is the expert(s)? I believe the experts are the people who say they are an expert, but I also believe that experts are in every corner of the education world but haven’t expressed their point of view. I just started reading Will Richardson’s “Learning on the Blog” and have to come to one conclusion in the first 15 pages: Blogging allows a person to clarify, share, comment, and be critiqued on what they know. The idea of sharing is what allows an expert, no matter how heavy the name, to add to the overall body of knowledge. Many parts make the whole machine run and in this case, the experts are not just the BIG names in education but every voice that adds to the collective whole. Are you an expert?