December 12, 2014
If you think about the staggering amount of edtech services out there, coupled with the numerous types of devices, it can feel pretty overwhelming to most people. We go to edcamps, conferences, webinars, etc. and get filled up with so many new ideas and resources but we don’t know where to start. Have you ever had either of these feelings?
Looking at it through the workshop facilitator/presenter lens, I’m just not into trying to cover 60 tools in 60 minutes or whatever other catchy title there is for it. That’s just not my style. I think we (leaders, presenters, etc.) need to keep this in mind when sharing with the intent of moving teachers forward with technology integration. The last thing I ever want to do is see someone get overwhelmed with too many choices. I will tell people this that I’m meeting with or presenting to on whatever the topic may be; especially if our time together is pretty limited. I’ve seen the look on teachers’ faces that shows their brain has been flooded and they don’t know what to do next. Like I said, there’s so many options out there for us and our students. I’d rather only share 3 ideas with you to dive into and pick from, and you try 1 of them and get really good at it. The old adage of ‘less is more’ most definitely rings true with technology integration.
Even so, when trying to get teachers to focus their learning with incorporating technology, there is often an unnecessary urgency. Here are some of the commonalities I’ve heard teachers say:
“I want to try this, this, and this and have my students using all of them within the next week.” (too much at once)
“Yeah but Mr. ‘teacher down the hall’ is having his students using Hangouts, coding, and robotics.” (feeling the need to compete)
“I’m only doing ____ right now in my class, which I know isn’t much.” (feeling that what they’re doing is inadequate)
Here’s how I always respond to these type of statements: the point is not to see how fast you can move forward, or how many new ideas you can move forward with at once, the point is to just move forward! Forward movement matters! If you’re embracing new ideas by trying them, refining them, and trying them again then don’t discredit yourself. You’re in a learner first mindset and that is huge!
I decided to explore my creative side again by using Canva (my newest learning adventure) to recreate a quote that I love to share with teachers I’m speaking to. I tried to find the original source of the quote but all I could turn up was that the author is ‘unknown’.
November 26, 2014
I spent about 30 minutes making my first creation with Canva; if you haven’t given it a try it’s really easy to use and a lot of fun. Students can create all sorts of graphic images to use in various projects or as a stand alone item. Be sure to also check out their new Design School too.
I wrote up this thought about a week ago about the power that having a learner first mindset has not only for ourselves but also for our students and children. If we’re truly a “learner first”, how could we not be open to new ideas and pedagogies to change teaching, learning, and school in general for the better?