Leadership · Curriculum · Lifelong Learning

Dear Netflix,

Greetings to you from an inquisitive educator.

With COVID-19 circulating the globe, the world will never be the same. I’m wondering if now is the time to embrace change. I’m wondering if now is the time we move forward into a new frontier. I’m wondering if now is the time that you might consider my vision.

Like everyone amidst a global pandemic, educators find themselves in a precarious position. At first, I saw colleagues embrace self-care, which usually included a few conversations about exercise and what quality material to binge-watch on Netflix.

In the heat of the moment, some consultants, authors, and businesses even offered to stream their stuff for FREE, or at least to extend free material for a few months as a gesture of goodwill.

Next, I saw educators dashing to emergency online professional resources and development created–by educators–for educators–to try to figure out how to translate their instruction from the face-to-face setting to remote learning. While good-hearted, well-intending, resilient educators adapted with flexibility unprecedented, traditional structures crumbled. Financial hardships hit home. Inequities were exposed and acknowledged. While we did the best we could, valuable time and opportunities were lost.

How will we ensure that we have one, unified message moving forward, and that everyone will have access to high-quality teaching resources and learning opportunities?

Then, several venues, including most mega conferences, cancelled or postponed their main events. To this day, the productive struggle to migrate from the traditional conference to the virtual format is glaring. There’s a ton of logistics to consider, including all those behind-the-scenes moves unbeknownst to the general public.

Sadly, most educators will never get to experience a conference like this face-to-face, because they simply don’t have the means, the access, or the opportunity. Attending these conferences is like the chance of a lifetime. They’re usually very expensive in terms of registration, transportation, room and board, add-on exhibits, pre-conference sessions, souvenirs, and other related excursions. That is, if you choose the face-to-face conference format.

Now, school systems across the country are persevering through the reopening process, including how to provide quality learning experiences for students, and all in harmony with an attempt in meaningful, differentiated support for educators.

So, how are we doing so far? Are we providing educators with the support they need to make the best of online and blended instruction?

If we’re being honest, it’s not going as well as desired.

What if it could be better?

While I acknowledge that we can never replicate, reproduce, nor replace the personal, human connection in any face-to-face learning experience, I’m also wondering about the next-best-thing.

As a concerned educator, and in this year of all-things-2020, I’m  wondering:

What if there was an Educator Channel on Netflix? 

I’m not talking about documentaries for teachers to play in their classrooms, or even educational material for kids to access for off-campus learning.

  • What We Have: Stuff all over the place. A podcast here, a webinar there, an expensive conference membership everywhere. We are struggling. We are hurting. We’re fighting hard for equity in terms of infrastructure, scheduling, communication, access, funding, and high-quality, differentiated, professional development. Educators want to become better in serving their kids, families, schools, and communities.
  • What Might Help: A comprehensive, one-stop shop, professional learning channel created by educators–for educators.

Benefits for the Viewers

  • Less time away from family, friends, and loved ones.
  • Less travel, hotels, scheduling, contracts, paperwork, and headaches.
  • More convenience at your fingertips. Download on-the-go.
  • More access to global learning opportunities.
  • YOU choose YOUR professional learning experiences.
  • YOU choose YOUR financial packages.
  • YOU choose YOUR On Demand learning preferences.
  • YOU choose when, where, and how to access YOUR opportunities.
  • Subscribe (pay) to access high quality, worldwide, professional development and professional learning opportunities galore, including keynote speeches, conference sessions, unconference sessions, edcamps, webinars, leadership minutes, author moments, technology support, professional learning community engagement, networking opportunities, and much, much more.

Benefits for the Presenters

  • Less time away from family, friends, and loved ones.
  • Less travel, hotels, scheduling, contracts, paperwork, and headaches.
  • More convenience at your fingertips. Upload on-the-go.
  • More access to global presenting opportunities.
  • YOUR brand gets unlimited exposure.
  • YOUR message gets accessed anytime, anywhere.
  • YOUR viewership potential increases exponentially.
  • YOUR venue and presentation schedule choose YOU.
  • YOU get paid according to YOUR presentations On Demand. 
  • Educators, keynotes, speakers, presenters, consultants, authors, publishers, edupreneurs, affiliates, students, and many more stakeholders get paid per upload and per unique view, given they meet specific Netflix Educator Channel criteria.

More About the Netflix Educator Channel 

  • Centers access, messaging, and marketing to highlight, honor, and celebrate teaching and learning.
  • Highlights education matters, ranging from the nuances of a high-quality learning experience to the daily struggles of raising a family on a teacher’s salary.
  • Doubles as a TV channel, featuring educational content, documentaries, and interviews with educators and learners of all ages around the globe.
  • Collaborates with international, federal, state, and local associations to ensure legal compliance, including contracts, public relations, ethics, privacy, and safety.
  • Collaborates with conferences, unconferences, professional developers, and related professional learning platforms and associations.
  • Collaborates with Donors Choose, GoFundMe, and related venues to provide opportunities for the under-privileged, under-served, and scholarship applicants.
  • FREE shows available.
  • Pay-Per-View shows available (pricing differentiated per demand).

On a Personal Note

  • One of my dream jobs was always to be a TV reporter on a 24/7 education channel (yet to be created), to celebrate teaching, learning, and educational opportunities across the world. I want to amplify the unheard voices until they feel heard. I want to provide others with the platform to be seen until they feel seen.
  • One of my dream jobs is to create this Educator Channel on Netflix. I’d love to lead and serve on the board that collaborates to bring this vision into fruition.

Right now, there’s an incredible gap between the Entertainment Industry’s unlimited reach and the needs of the Education System. Let’s bridge the gap–together.

It’s the right thing to do to ensure equitable access for professional development.

It’s the right time to move forward–together.

Netflix, presenters, and learners of all ages: Are you up for the opportunity?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Very Sincerely,

Kyle Hamstra

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