Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reflections on "Social Media... and stuff"

So after all that, here's what's left. If you missed my previous posts, you can check out "Social Media.. and stuff" Part 1 and Part 2
  1. Reality

We can debate philosophy and theory of education all you want, but ultimately, when it comes down to it, what everyone wants is a job. As of next fall, if you want to teach in Iowa, it is more likely than not that you will teach in some form of a 1:1 district. The district will have spent a lot of money on those devices, and WILL expect you to use said devices. Particularly for beginning teachers, choosing not to integrate student devices will likely come up in your evaluations.

You have a choice to make. You can choose to be a teacher who uses technology meaningfully, to create experiences and opportunities for your students that extend their learning beyond the traditional classroom... or not. I know I want my kids studying with a teacher who helps them reach heights they never thought possible. 

2. What I learned about myself as a presenter

I’m really struggling with the fact that I cannot directly express these sentiments to the group I talked to. I thought I was addressing how to leverage technology to create new opportunities for learners, and was thrown off my game a bit. There were great questions asked and valid concerns raised, but in hindsight, I either needed to take a moment to gather my thoughts (as I did here) or steer the conversation back to the idea that like it or not, technology is not going away, and I am here to share some positive methods of using it in your future classrooms.

I’m glad I was able to share the resources I prepared via my wiki (yay technology!), but I’m disappointed that I let the learning get derailed for those who were interested in what I had intended to share. While I never want to stifle quality discussion, I should have done a better job of bringing the discussion back to the topic at hand. I wasn’t going to be able to calm their fears in the time allotted and a lot of REALLY GREAT resources didn’t get shared because I tried. I focused on the wrong train car!

As I continue doing this work in my capacity as a tech integration consultant I feel like this was a great opportunity for me to grow and learn as an instructor. I have reflected and will be better next time. Who knows, maybe something I said will resonate with someone when they least expect it!

On an unrelated note, I now know what stellar parallax is (below)!

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