So, I’ve been thinking about my ideas about education and technology use in education.
I have been participating in professional development through PLP with my school for several years. For the first two years I was part of a school team and now this year I am working alongside another new team from my school but am also a Fellow for the program through ADVIS (Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools). As a Fellow, I am assigned to three school teams as their mentor or helpful-idea-person. PLP is run by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (see her blog here). Will Richardson also works with PLP (see his blog here and book here). Each year at the first face-to-face meeting Sheryl and Will both speak. Will is usually the one who sends people over the edge.
The first year, I thought Will was on the fringe, at best. (I may have wanted to ban the word “passion” from all conversation.) The second year, I was amazed at how much he had mellowed. And this year, while I many not agree with everything he says, I certainly did not find him to be radical in any way.
But, I was sitting with an entire group of first-time participants this year. Some of them had a very different reaction than I did. Some thought he was radical and extreme. (He admits he’s trying to challenge folks.) So, that made me think about who has really changed in the past three years? Has Will changed? Or, have I?
The simple answer is yes.
Here’s how I have broken it down:
Ways Will has changed (I cannot claim to know the man at all. I am only talking about his keynote addresses.)
- More careful to support teaching as a profession and teachers.
- Goes a little slower and doesn’t bombard the audience with too many examples.
- Admits to having slowed down on his tweeting and blogging
Ways I have changed.
- I know the lingo now.
- I have not only dipped my toes in the edtech pool, I’ve waded in.
- I’ve joined several virtual education networks and have reasserted myself as a learner (it was tough there for a few years with babies at home and too little sleep).
- I’ve realized that there is a lot of professional development to be had on my schedule (which means on the couch, after the kids are in bed, possibly while I am wearing pajamas and/or folding laundry).
- I am continually updating and upgrading my definition and understanding of what a contemporary education can and should be.
- I am actively looking for ways my students can develop a positive digital footprint rather than hide their feet altogether.
- I am looking for ways my students can put themselves “out there” in appropriate ways and connect with other students, classes, teachers beyond our school.
- I have gotten over the use of the word “passion,” although I still can’t quite use the word myself, I am looking for more ways to have students working engaging with their personal interests during school.
- I have a PLN full of teachers, most of whom I have never met.
So, it seems like it might be more me.
Anyone else feel they have changed in the past few years?