However, with all the content that already exists, no one can say things the way you would. I hope to use this article to convince you to add your voice to an already noisy internet and start creating content. You should not only be a consumer of content. You have something to say, and there is someone out there who wants to hear it.
Dispelling the myths
Before making my case on why you, as an educator, should add content creation to the myriad of things that you already have to do, let me dispel a few myths. Creating content is not about fame or fortune. There are a few people who may become famous for writing a book or blog, creating videos or producing a podcast, but the vast majority of people will not. It is extremely difficult to amass millions of followers or secure lucrative brand deals, so if this is your first motivation, then you might be in for a really rude awakening. Now that I have put those issues to bed let’s dive into why all educators should also be content creators and do it consistently.
Why You should be creating content
Your voice matters. It is easy to feel as if what you have to say is not important, and fear would have you believe that nobody wants to hear what you have to say. Do not listen to your fears. Once you hit publish or send, on your first piece of content, leave it to do what it does and do not worry about it again. I have come up with What I like to call the three Cs of content creation;
- Contribution- What do you have to contribute to your students or colleagues?
- Credibility- How do you show that you know what you are talking about?
- Connection- How do you connect with like-minded people?
I am a strong believer in the fact that every educator should have their own professional space on the internet. This is a space outside of your personal social media accounts which you may use to connect with family or friends. I am talking about a professional account, whether that is LinkedIn, Twitter, your own blog or podcast through which you share the things that you are passionate about professionally.
What are you known for professionally? The days of the CV the way we know it are numbered. People are increasingly being headhunted for new roles and opportunities based on the content that they consistently share online. Your work precedes you and opens doors for you. Creating content is a superb way to build your personal brand.
What type of content should you create?
Choosing the type of content to create can be confusing. There is so much to choose from. Should you write a book, blogs, articles for magazines, podcasts, webinars or publish videos online? The answer to this question comes down to what you enjoy doing and the amount of time you have to invest. My only advice is to choose one and make sure that you have mastered it before moving on to another form. On that note, I would also suggest that you choose a niche and focus on that. When thinking of your niche, think about the area that people consult with you on the most. Do people always ask you about your great classroom environment? Are you known in your school for your great IT skills? Are you the assessment guru among your peers? If you can’t think about it on your own, ask three or more colleagues what they think you are great at and listen out for the commonality in their responses.
How do you share the content you create?
Once you have gotten over the big hurdle of creating content, it is time to share it. The best way to share the content you create is via social media. Do not get hung up on the numbers of people you are reaching. As long as the content you are sharing is of good quality, it will resonate with someone, and they will share it with their colleagues. You can also create a newsletter to share your content with the recipients on a regular basis. If you have a school newsletter or intranet, ask for the relevant permissions and start sharing your content there. Last but not least, submit articles to relevant magazines, blogs and newspapers. These media outlets already have an extensive reach, and they are always looking for content, so why not benefit from their audience and let your voice be heard.
Creating content has never been easier, start off by using what is easily available to you. Use the tools you already have like your phone or your laptop. Resist the urge to procrastinate or to run out and buy expensive equipment. Most importantly, have fun. Content creation is hard work, but it is also fun!
Note from author: Registration is open for the STEM MENA Online Conference taking place on March 16-17, 2021. Theme: Delivering Effective STEM Education In A Changing World. Visit stemmena.com for more details.