Sharing Your Expertise with the World

Sharing Your Education Expertise with the World: Make Research Resonate and Widen Your Impact
By Jenny Grant Rankin
(Routledge, 2019 – Learn more)

Reviewed by Kathleen Palmieri

Let me start this review with why I chose to read this book. As an educator, I feel compelled to collaborate with my colleagues. Being in the education profession, I find sharing is a skill that is necessary to build best practices.

I’ve branched out into the virtual world by networking on Twitter, sharing on Instagram, and even finding groups of interest on Facebook.

While this has been enriching as I learned from others, I was looking for more ways to “step outside of my box” so to speak and give as well as take. One day as I scrolled through MiddleWeb’s list of titles available for review, this one jumped out at me.

An inviting voice to help build your outreach

Jenny Grant Rankin, PhD, has written several books for researchers, educators, and those who share information or data. In Sharing Your Education Expertise with the World: Make Research Resonate and Widen Your Impact, Rankin has created a resource that helps anyone looking to increase their audience and the visibility of their ideas and practices.

As I began to read, I was immediately drawn into the flow of her writing as her voice comes through in an encouraging, confidence building, and fun way! This is not the typical, sometimes droning, informational read. This is a book that is easy to navigate and choose chapters by interest in each topic.

Beginning with the preface, Rankin captured my interest, starting off with, “This is a book full of secrets and shortcuts. It contains all the tips and tricks I gathered on my journey to share my expertise and research with the world….The most important reason for reading this book, however, is to make your expertise benefit more kids by reaching more of the folks who serve them.” (p xiv)

Within each chapter

Rankin’s “Book Structure and Content” describes each chapter as offering descriptions of opportunities, lists of specific techniques using various media sources, tips and tricks to help you gain opportunities, and strategies and exercises to hone skills and apply the strategies shared in the chapter.

I particularly like the “Scrappy Tips” that are included throughout this book. I know you are probably wondering what the term “Scrappy” means. It is defined by Rankin as, “Being scrappy means being determined and thinking outside of the box to find numerous, creative ways to seize opportunities. It also means aiming high (while simultaneously seizing more accessible opportunities) for maximum impact.” (p 6) Perfect! Yet another way that I found myself in this book!

A quick look at the Table of Contents

Rankin’s “Table of Contents” is where the reader can begin their journey to widen their impact. Below is a snapshot of the topics. In the book they are broken down into subtopics and well defined. I’ll offer my takeaways on each:

Table of Contents

Meet the Author – I think reading about the author is incredibly important and interesting.

Preface – must read! This maps out the book.

eResources – table of great resources, and the author offers a site with a link to access them as well.

Acknowledgements – the inspiration behind this book.

GEARING UP

  1. Introduction – helps you to find your message and not let the “critics” discourage you.
  2. Image – ways to highlight your expertise and contribute to your polished professional image.

WRITING

  1. Writing Anything – guidelines are offered to finding writing opportunities.
  2. Writing Short-Form (Articles, Papers, Etc.) – blogs, newspapers, newsletters, websites, etc.
  3. Writing Books – help provided to craft a good book and to get published.

SPEAKING

  1. Speaking Anywhere – fundamental guidelines for speaking anywhere. TED talks, conferences, etc.
  2. Preparing Slides for Anywhere – creating visuals that will inspire, enlighten, not bore or overwhelm.
  3. Speaking at Conferences and Other Events – applying to speak, criteria, tips for success, etc.
  4. Speaking on Air and Recordings – find broadcasts devoted to education, list of broadcasting opportunities, etc.

PARTICIPATING

  1. Connecting – at events, social media, business cards, etc. Get involved in the conversation.
  2. Serving – mentoring, sharing lessons, serving on a board, plus ways to share expertise, build presence.
  3. Awards, honors, grants – how to seek them out.

EXTRA CREDIT

  1. Multiply Your Impact – Exposure is important! Various ideas on using Twitter, etc. to promote you!

The “Table of Contents” reveals the book is an incredible resource presented in a mentor’s encouraging voice. However, there is more! Web addresses and e-resources, “fast tracks” and contact information are woven throughout.

Honesty and integrity are discussed, as Rankin writes, “As you follow your path to maximum impact and career growth, commit to maintaining honesty and integrity. This means never lying on your CV, never taking credit for someone else’s work, never throwing a colleague or acquaintance under the bus, etc.” (p. 7)

Reaching for equity among educators

Rankin also discusses the importance of equity in relation to groups that tend to face discrimination. She writes,

“This book celebrates the need for all education experts to share what they know so our field and students can benefit from their wisdom. Yet women, people of color, and LGBT+ individuals face discrimination in their efforts to share their expertise within our professional arena. It is important to be aware of unfair obstacles, and how they manifest themselves, so we can all find ways to ensure the field benefits from diverse voices….Please get fired up with me, and hold this issue close to your heart as you seek to share your expertise with the world.” (p 7)

What a powerful thought for all of us, especially in the education field, to keep in mind.

So I am thinking you already are aware of how much I enjoyed this book. I should probably add that midway through this fabulous resource, I looked Dr. Rankin up on Twitter. I tweeted what I was reading, and within minutes I received a reply and a “follow” from her. I know two things for sure: One, Sharing Your Education Expertise with the World: Make Research Resonate and WidenYour Impact will continue to be a go-to resource for me. Two, I will continue to read and learn from Dr. Rankin. (Read a review of Rankin’s book First-Aid for Teacher Burnout here at MiddleWeb.)

Jenny Grant Rankin’s voice throughout this book promotes the message that sharing our individual wisdom and expertise with the world is necessary, and, more importantly, possible. Read this book to feel encouraged and inspired in your quest to expand your impact on the world, as well as to giggle often.

Kathleen Palmieri is a National Board Certified Teacher and a fifth grade educator in upstate New York who reviews regularly for MiddleWeb. With a passion for literacy and learning in the classroom, she participates in various writing workshops and curriculum writing endeavors. As a lifelong learner, she is an avid reader and researcher of educational practices and techniques. Collaborating with colleagues and globally on Twitter @Kathie042500 are her ongoing practices.

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