June 21, 2014
We are now one week out from the 2014 ISTE Conference. There’s been quite a few pre-conference posts circulating about what to do, what not to do, and other great pieces of advice that are helpful to newbie and veteran attendees alike. This will be my seventh ISTE conference and I’m always excited to learn, reconnect, and make new connections.
Do you have a plan in place for what you’re going to do with all the new things you will learn? How are you going to take notes and organize them? How will you share them with colleagues and leaders and aren’t at the conference? Here are some suggestions:
1. Create a new notebook in Evernote. Inside that notebook you could create a new note for each session you attend.
2. Create a folder in Google Drive and create a new document for each session you attend and organize them into that folder.
3. Use Storify to aggregate all the tweets you posted during the conference.
4. Use Diigo to collect and tag any resource links you gather from sessions.
These are just a few quick examples that work well. This is something you will want to think about prior to attending. Even if you aren’t attending the conference in person, you can follow the #ISTE2014 hashtag on Twitter to get resources, ideas, and new connections for your network.
However, what I charge to you; what I challenge you to begin asking yourself now is, “What happens next?”. Yes, before you even set foot in Atlanta we all need to ask ourselves this question. You’re going to learn in abundance; during sessions, workshops, and in the networking spaces. All of that learning without a plan of action is meaningless. I’m not just talking to classroom teachers either. Superintendents, tech directors, curriculum directors, classroom teachers, instructional coaches, and principals all need to be able to answer the question “What happens next?”.
What’s going to change in your practice? Your leadership? Your view of technology’s place in teaching and learning? We all must begin thinking about these things now, and be prepared to take action.
If you’re going to be at ISTE, please be sure to say hello. I look forward to connecting and learning with you!
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
April 21, 2014
I had the honor of guest moderating #arkedchat (Arkansas educators) last Thursday evening. If you haven’t joined in on a Thursday evening at 8pm CST you really should. It’s a great example of one of the many state-sprcific chats we have happening on Twitter.
One of my takeaways from the chat, and something I’ve had said to me on more than one occasion lately (in variation), led me to respond with this:
Remember: forward movement is better than no movement at all. Don’t worry if it’s too small of movement. Any movement matters! #arkedchat
— Kyle Pace (@kylepace) April 18, 2014
We need to stop putting the pressure on ourselves to be as good as so-and-so; or that I should using this tech tool or that tech tool. This is an internal struggle that you won’t win. What matters is that you are taking the necessary steps to move forward in your practice. You’re becoming better! That’s what the focus needs to be. Not on the speed it’s happening (or isn’t) or if you’re using the same tools/devices as your neighbor in the classroom next door. It’s better to move forward slowly than not move forward at all!
I had a similar conversation face to face last week as well. A teacher that’s taking the grad class I teach on Tuesday nights was worried because she wasn’t using the same presentation tool as her fellow teacher sitting next to her in class. I wanted to give plenty of choices in which tools my teachers use to demonstrate their learning; I wanted them to pick the one they felt the most comfortable with. I had to remind her not to worry that what she was doing was a more simplistic approach (it wasn’t, it was just a different tool).
We need to stop letting these kind of thoughts infiltrate the culture of professional learning among teachers. The more we allow teachers to have variance in their professional learning (and remove their worry about it not being enough) just think how rich the sustainable culture of sharing will become!