For my #METC16 reflection posts, I’m going to do something different… I’m going back through my Tweets (aka conference notes) and pulling out what was clearly on my mind at that time and add what I’m thinking now. This might require a few posts as evidently I had a lot on my mind this week!
One of the things I like most about conferences is getting a chance to meet up with great friends! I have been really fortunate to get to know George Couros over the past few years, starting out as a connection on social media and turning into a great friendship.
Inspiring conferences find amazing keynote speakers that can hold an audience and anyone who has ever heard George speak, knows that he always delivers… even if snow and traffic issues cause a delay in our start time.
My wish is for all educators to be inspired and to think about what is one small thing you can do today to change the lives and learning environments for all students!
Here are a few points I took from George’s Keynote:
Don’t believe someone is doing what you think is impossible down the road? Check out #EdJourney, by Grant Lichtman and you will find a roadmap of 300 schools that just might shine a light on what you would like to do!
I know educators use the word “balance” because they care. The truth is, as a professional, technology is NOT optional! If I want to be efficient, productive, and forward thinking, I need to leverage technology. Why is “technology” always the bad guy?
We need to start looking at access as a critical component to develop Learner Agency. Take a look at your next staff meeting and watch teacher faces and actions as leaders lecture on and on about things that could have been discovered independently and miss the opportunity to do something really amazing with the precious face-to-face time they have! Want to change the culture in your schools? Change how you use your time together!
Fear makes us do crazy things sometimes! Back in 8th grade, I recall a group of boys laughing as they threw pencils in the air and stuck them into the ceiling. Once the teacher looked up and saw about 10 pencils stuck in the tiles, they had a talk about the appropriateness of their actions…they did NOT lose their pencils for the next class.
Kids will make mistakes, they have been doing this since the dawn of time. It is our job to love them enough to talk about citizenship in all aspects of their lives… over and over again even when we are tired and would like to ignore or are so uncomfortable the words are hard to form.
Yes, the world has changed, but have enough educators explored this digital world to really understand the exciting opportunities? You don’t have to be an expert! Focus on learning something new everyday and then share your passion with students.
If we really want to know what engages our learners, we need to understand their world. Let’s look at it from their eyes. If schools started using PD funds to allow teachers to walk a student schedule and then come back and discuss… what changes would we make?
Our learners need and deserve the opportunity to create. I think we have pockets of amazing innovative practices happening all over schools. We can’t be satisfied just pointing fingers at what is globally wrong with education. That isn’t very productive. We can look at our own practices and find one thing we can change. If we all made one change, think of the systemic difference we could make!