"Let us move forward with boldness and not retreat back into the comforts of the past." - David March
Content passion + Professional passion + Personal passion = an engaging teacher that inspires students to be passionate as well.
My problem with blogging is the same problem I have in many other areas. As a passionate learner, I tend to have so many things I want to do and say that I often struggle to translate that knowledge into solid action. Every time I feel like I have a good topic to blog on, I wind up trying to say everything all in the first paragraph.
This week while checking out the #TIA17 event via Twitter, I stumbled upon several tweets by Ashley Hankins a 5th grade teacher from Denton ISD. I have long been a fan of the things going on in Denton, so it was no surprise to see their teachers sharing great takeaways from the things Dave Burgess was sharing and more. I have read many of the Dave Burgess Publishing list and would consider myself a fan of the energy and message that Dave has been spreading.
I loved the tweet above because it is such an accurate formula for success. It is also exactly why educators get so burned out they start looking forward to those much needed school holidays. And it is also why I love the start of a new school year. Revived from several weeks of time off and professional learning done throughout the summer new and experienced teachers look forward to getting to start from scratch with a new batch of students. Eager to establish norms and get in a routine, the energy of educators during the back to school stretch is invigorating.
I work all summer, so I miss that excitement of a new start but our teachers give me added energy upon their return. My dream has always been a way to capture this time of year and be able to infuse the energy back into our teachers at those key times in the year when they need it most. I have yet to find a successful formula, but I refuse to give up, and I am for this to be the best year ever for our teachers and students.
So how do we go about supporting and growing the passion teachers have at the start of the year, so it can be sustained long term. Dave's recipe is spot on and the problem is during the year, teachers will go through things that make it hard to keep up the passion in all three areas. Whether it be the stress of a test impacting their content passion, or a lack of training or support weakening their professional passion, the reality is that everyone will go through stretches where they lose parts of the formula. We have to be intentional about how we refuel each of these passion buckets.
Content Passion - All teachers have certain parts of their curriculum that are more interesting than others. This is where I think the ability for teachers to collaborate with other departments would be helpful. When you get "stuck in a rut" struggling to find a better way to teach that material that is less than your favorite, reach out to others in your building for a new perspective. Look for ways to bring that topic to life, find an expert and have them spend some time with you and your students. Thinks like Skype in the classroom or Nepris, or even a Flipgrid asynchronous collaborative activity with another class could all be ways to bring new life to a topic that you don't naturally get excited to teach. This could be an entire blog post by itself, but be sure to look outside the norm when you get in a content rut.
Professional Passion - This one is probably my biggest frustration point. As a district wide employee I see a lot of different things from campus to campus, and also outside of our district. The daily grind and expectations put on teachers really can make it tough to keep up the positive attitude. But with that said, this is also one of the best parts of being in a school or district community. So often all it really takes is a few kind words or a little added support to really make a difference. If everyone in the building looked to lift up someone else each day, it would do wonders for the morale and professional passion. Teachers are passionate about learning, but they need time to do so and when given that time, they need to know they are going to have time to really grow. Administrators can do a lot by simply giving some flexibility in learning opportunities and limiting unnecessary face to face time for meetings and such. If we want this to be the best year ever, we ALL must be diligent in providing the support and guidance to all teachers, but especially our new teachers. This is the one thing that tends to break down as a school year goes on and everyone gets wrapped up in trying to keep up. So work hard to seek out ways to make this a priority this year.
Personal Passion - Teachers come from all backgrounds and have different personal passions. It is important for teachers to be able to get away and focus on those passions from time to time. If you are taking papers home to grade every night or constantly looking for that perfect lesson, you will neglect things that are important to your well being. I would love to find some examples of districts that let their teachers take some time during staff development days or other times in a school year to explore some of their personal passions and find ways to tie that into their classes. Combine this with the idea of cross content collaboration and some really powerful learning experiences for teachers and students could be born.
In the end the hope is the reality is this school year will be the best year ever for many teachers and students. It will also be less than perfect for many others. How are we going to go about doing our part to lift each other up this year? How are we going to sustain this at the times when it is most difficult? How are we going to know when someone really needs to be checked on because things are going south? I don't have an answer for all of this, other than to say, I am hoping that some of the things yet to come in this blog will do just that for some of our teachers and any others that may read it through the year. I would love to hear about some of the ways you take care of yourself and those you work with.
Alone we will fail, but together we are strong.
That is the one certainty in education, I look forward to growing my support system this year, as I aim to be the leader our teachers need.
Some of you may have heard about a little tech tool called Flipgrid lately. If you were at #ISTE17 you might have heard that a vendor booth was asked by event staff to make less noise, because they were having a little too much fun with a Claudio Zavala specialty called #Singasong. I am also guessing a few of you have seen the badge listed above for #FlipgridCertified educator status. And many of you that are reading this are probably a #FlipgridAmbassador or hope to be one sometime soon! Well let's discuss another little phenomenon that will be taking place on August 10th celebrating exciting new back to school updates in Flipgrid.com,
At 7:00 PM CDT at the Flipgrid headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota a few hundred educators from across the globe will be in attendance as Flipgrid launches several exciting new features that are sure to excite users. For those of us who are not lucky enough to attend this event in Minnesota, something special is still going to be available. Flipgrid ambassadors from throughout the country are planning live local meet and greets and we want you to join us for the fun. Starting at 6:00 PM CDT at each of these locations educators will come together to share ideas and strategies for using Flipgrid to engage all stakeholders of your school community.
As of posting of this article events have been created in 9 cities and more are sure to be added. What started as a simple idea to have a few meet and greets, quickly turned into what makes Flipgrid so popular. The community of educators using Flipgrid is passionate about learning. Taking a simple idea, the Flipgrid community quickly joined forces to create what will be an amazing learning event throughout the world.
Users have found that the company stands arm and arm with its users. Often engaging users immediately through Twitter and other avenues, the Flipgrid staff continues to amaze us all with their passion for students and learning. To say the Flipgrid community is unique would be an understatement. Users are passionately working together to build a professional learning family that is all inclusive. Every day users are working side by side to help other educators earn the #FlipgridCertified and Flipgrid Builder badges. These same efforts came to life with the idea of the #GlobalBash project.
So if you live close enough to join a face to face meetup, plan on arriving at 6:00 PM and share the great ideas you have for making student learning amazing. We all know it is about the learning, not the tool, but we are excited to share and compare as we meet other passionate educators in our areas. Starting at 6:30 each of the venues will work to connect virtually to share their best ideas with the world. All of this will of course lead into the news from Flipgrid HQ, and based on a sneak preview it is safe to say YOU WILL LOVE WHAT'S COMING.
And for those of you not close enough to a live event, have no fear, each of the venues will share their ideas on the Flipgrid Global Bash grid found here flipgrid.com/globalbash2017. Or better yet, do you know a few passionate educators who want to join in the Flipgrid buzz. Create your own local viewing party and invite your friends. We all know that watching the news with friends can make it a lot more fun.
Based on my use of Loom, I would have to agree. I love simple tools and Loom certainly fits the bill. I am often asked about free or cheap tools for video creation. We all know how difficult video can be due to file sizes, and hosting of the videos. Loom offers an alternative that is pretty attractive. While you won't be able to edit your videos in Loom, you can easily click on the extension, and be up and running with a completed video in no time, and with no hassle.
During video recording, you can cancel the video, pause the video, change camera settings, or finish the video. Finishing the video will take you to the video details screen. This is where the lightning quick part takes place. This process allows you to very quickly create a video and get it shared out to the public right away via a link or social media.
So what are some ways that Loom could be used in Education? Let's take a look at a few options.
Students - Signing up with Google accounts is an option. Depending on your district set up with outside sources, this may or may not be an option. Please note that I have not investigated privacy policies with this site, and always encourage you to be sure you know all the details before having students create videos with this or any platform.
There are many other ways video can be used in education. Have other ideas, be sure to share them and let me know how Loom is or isn't meeting your video communication needs. Have a comment leave it below, or share it on the video I created for this blog. When it comes to simple video creation tools, consider Loom as a possible addition to your tool box.
It was Saturday night and I was with my son, for what should have been some quality one on one time. I had left the house before anyone was awake, and got home in time to let my wife and daughters run errands they needed to get done that evening. I should have been able turn things off and give the little bit of time I had to my son. Sadly, it took something totally unrelated to snap me back to what is truly important.
There was about a 10 - 15 second pause when they husband and wife stood there caught off guard. They had gone from trying to throw their tray away, to dropping things, having to stop and try to pick it all up, to simply standing there with everything picked up and thrown away for them within seconds. I'm sure if you are still reading you are saying, this isn't that big of a deal, but it was one of those, "you had to be there" types of moments. The man said to his wife as they walked out the door, "Wow (again) we need to be sure come back to this place..." With one simple gesture the two young men, created an impression on everyone in the room.
Blake and I talked about how nice it was for those two boys to pick up the trash for the other man. We talked about how now that couple has a positive thought about everyone in Sulphur Springs and how doing something nice for someone can change their entire thought process for a while. He went from being annoyed that he dropped it, to being dumbfounded that the two men never missed a beat as they helped him get everything cleaned up. I saw my 6 year old son watch the chain of events and he had the biggest smile on his face. He loved that that two people that didn't make the mess picked it up anyway.
The best part of all of it, is that he saw how a simple gesture made such a big difference. I am a firm believer that little details make a big difference in the things we do. As all three of my kids have grown up, we often discuss doing things just because they are the right thing to do. I see my kids model this often. This was just another of those "that is how it should be" type of moments. I got home and later that night I saw the video I shared at the beginning of this story and it again reminded me how awesome people can be.
So what does this have to do with ed tech or anything education related? I always have a way of twisting things so they work for what I am thinking. With all the various things I am working on in my role as an Instructional technology coordinator the common thread is that all of the work is really planting seeds for the future. Just as the random act of kindness in Wendy's planted a seed for me and my son about how to treat others, the fruits of my work will take time to be fully seen. It is easy to get frustrated as we may not see changes taking place as fast as we want, but every conversation, activity, training, etc gives teachers the chance to better understand how technology may fit in their classroom. And while I may work hard to get everyone on board, all too often, it is the simple things I do that make the biggest difference, not the ones that keep me at the office well past closing time.
We have all seen them before, URL shorteners can be extremely beneficial. From conference/workshop presentation links to making it easier to get students to an important website, a URL shortener can save time and hassle. The benefits of a URL shortener go far beyond taking an ugly web address and turning it into something useful.
Some of you may use goo.gl, t.co, ow.ly, or tinyurl to name a few others. In the end it doesn't really matter which one you use, but the ones that allow you to customize and save your shortened links tend to work best.
But what if we said, you could create your own short URL's.
So we know we can make a link shorter, and can customize it. Why would you need to do any of this though. You can use QR codes, or user hyperlinks when linking to things online, using a short url just creates more work that takes up time. For a lot of what we do daily this is true. Let's look at a few ideas for using custom short URLs
While most educators are not in the marketing business, even a school district could benefit from having the flexibility to create custom urls for various needs. I am curious, do you use short urls? Which service do you use? Would you be able to benefit from creating your own custom short domain, for around $12/year? I would love to hear your feedback on how and why this could benefit you. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to hit me up on Twitter. I am more than willing to discuss ideas and help you get your domain set up.
Servant Leadership and Service at it's best!!!
In any organization there are people who truly make a difference. Sometimes they are easily recognized and other times they perform in near anonymity. As SSISD has progressed in our 1:1 journey 6 people have worked tirelessly to make things happen behind the scenes. Because I get the luxury of working directly with teachers and students, I often hear the comments of appreciation for the opportunities that come along with the added access to classroom technology. Sometimes the frustration and complaints are shared as well and that is ok. I want to share a little about the people that work behind the scenes. For me, I know these people have taught me so much about educational technology and I am grateful to be able to work with and learn from some of the best in the business.
My journey with technology started 3 years ago because of the vision and leadership of Rodney White. I was hired as a campus technology specialist at the High School despite being under qualified from the technology perspective. Rodney saw my instructional background and realized that it would be an opportunity for him to get someone with a different perspective within his staff. This meant that the "Silent 6" would all have to take on a heavier workload as they taught me the technical side of things. Rodney's vision and understanding of district goals and needs show up often with things like this.
Rodney made it clear to me from day one that he operates with two key concepts in mind.
Ben Scott's title is Network Administrator, but it might be better said that he is the " all the other stuff guy." Everyone in the department takes on a share of the random things that come up, but often times if it doesn't fit in a certain area, Ben has a hand in getting it done. Despite all the random things, Ben has also undertaken the challenge of changing out, and building out the district's network. While the 1:1 program has created certain needs, the reality is that Ben has had a plan for several years to get campus networks ready for the growth. In any 1:1 program the infrastructure is priority number 1. Without it a plan will fail, when successful, the temporary setbacks will be manageable. We want things to work like they do at home, but expect the security and stability required of a large organization. The two are not always as easy to balance as we think. Ben also plays a key role in anything that involves an "auto import." Those auto imports are not automatic, until Ben sets them up.
David Hodges and Larry Mahand are probably two of the least recognizable of the tech team. Larry is a man of few words, but he serves the district as a part time support person. Larry is often seen handling support tickets and making deliveries of repaired devices. Larry won't say a lot, but his role on the team once again epitomizes the servant service concept. David Hodges joined the district last January. David has had a hand in the network build out and was without a doubt a great addition to the team. Like the rest of the team, David is perfectly content going about his business under the radar. David provides added infrastructure support that will be invaluable as we roll out the final wave of devices at the high school this year. David brings a level of expertise that we are lucky to have.
Sometimes a product stands out in a crowded list. Each app offering in Office 365 meets the varied needs of customers in different ways. As an educator, web forms have always been a useful tool. Personally I have created forms for:
How have you used web forms in your classroom or school? If so, please share some of your ideas in the comments below. If not, please consider taking a look at this useful tool.
When my district switched to Office 365 a couple years ago, the lack of a web form app/tool was a bit of a let down, but I soon realized a big change was in the works. Microsoft Forms became a reality, for me at least, last Spring. Like a lot of new features, the "Preview" in the name meant that it would be an evolving process to get where it plans to be in the future, but I can say I have been pleasantly surprised how far it has come in the time I have been using Forms.
At some point there will be a strong need for a way to organize my forms, and additional features are still heavily requested based on user feedback, but one thing is for certain, the Forms team is listening. If Forms is missing something you need today, submit your needs, and they will be considered in future updates.
Last week one of those updates brought to fruition a feature that I can honestly say was a life saver for me this past June. The ability to branch questions was the latest addition to the Forms feature set. I was fortunate enough to receive access to this feature in early June based on a community forum discussion about desired feature sets.
As you can see above, I built three forms that received over 1500 responses combined. The responses were part of our efforts to receive feedback from our teachers after our Summer Learning Conference sessions. We surveyed each of our session attendees on the effectiveness of the content and presentation. As you know, one of the powerful things about web forms is the data that is generated from a form, can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet, and manipulation of the data requires some thought as to how it will be sorted and used.
While we could have used a more generic survey format and accomplished a lot of what we needed, branching provided us with the ability to be as granular as possible, and hold all our data in one place. I could have easily created one form that would have worked for the entire 3 day conference, but elected to create a different one for each day for this round of surveys.
To accomplish what we needed, we created a question asking the time of the session. We also created a different question with the list of 8 - 12 sessions offered at each of the time slots. All we had to do then, was branch each time slot, to the question with the session names for that time slot. We were then able to send the respondents to the point further on in the survey that asked for their responses to session specifics. Below are a few screenshots showing how it worked
Our forms are rather simple examples of how branching can work. Click here to interact with a copy of our form to see the experience first hand. I have recently begun the process of using the branching feature to set up an iPad App Request form. Again we want to provide lists that make it easy for teachers to fill out by simply using the checkbox question types. This is important because it allows us to control the input of responses on our spreadsheet later. If we used the text input question type, respondents can type in various things, and it makes quick sorting more difficult.
Providing multiple long lists can make the form less desirable for respondents. To avoid this, branching makes it possible to filter out only the questions that are needed based on certain responses.
Branching is not a feature that is necessary for all forms, but having the ability to use it is a big win for educators. It is proof that the team behind Forms is serious about improving upon what they already have. It also allows for a much more dynamic form giving both the creator and the respondents a better experience. I look forward to hearing about different scenarios that you may come up with for branched questions. My next project will be to look at how branching might be able to help me create a version of a Digital Breakout EDU experience. I also look forward to seeing how the Forms team elects to add feature sets, without over complicating the user experience. There is real power in the simplicity of Microsoft Forms.
Part 2 of 7
Read Part 1 here
We started our adventures on the 7 C's of education talking about the importance of embracing change. In education and the world, technology has dramatically increased the speed of changes that can be made. This week we will look at communication. When you think about communication in your classroom, how are you building the communication skills of your students? We are going to look at two important sources to discuss the importance of incorporating skilled communication in lessons.
Tony Wagner, a world renowned education reform expert, discusses what he refers to as the 7 Survival Skills for students in the 21st Century. Wagner spent time with business leaders and education leaders from across the globe as he developed his 7 skills. His focus is on the need for effective communication skills in both oral and written formats.
“The biggest skill people are missing is the ability to communicate: both written and oral presentations. It’s a huge problem for us.”
Wagner's work centers around the need for students to be able to effectively communicate in multiple formats, but its more than just organizing a thought and presenting that thought. He discusses the need to be able to use skillful communications to accomplish something. It is one important piece of the bigger picture. And he points out that this communication must be multi-modal, as students who are able to use various formats will be better able to adapt to the needs and opportunities they will face in work and personal situations.
Are students required to communicate their own ideas regarding a concept or issue? Must their communication be supported with evidence and designed with a particular audience in mind?
Microsoft's 21st Century Learning Design based on the International Teaching and Learning research, provides a rubric that allows teachers to evaluate lessons. "This rubric examines whether students are asked to produce extended or multi-modal communication, and whether the communication must be substantiated, with a logical explanation or examples or evidence that supports a central thesis. At higher levels of the rubric, students must craft their communication for a particular audience."
Both of these tools challenge educators to look deeply at how they incorporate activities that touch on developing communication skills of students. If you are looking at ways to evaluate how 21st Century ready your lessons are both of these resources merit further reading. The best part of it is that you can use the evaluation rubric to quickly address areas that would allow you to ramp up a lesson
All right stop, Collaborate and listen. Ice is back with my brand new invention.
Yep, I am going there! I can stop, I can collaborate, but the thing I am not very good at is truly listening. I know this is a flaw of mine, and it has been for a very long time. I think it is important to really look at what is going on when things are not going the way you think they should. It is easier to blame what everyone else is doing, but it seems that more often than not, when you really look at things, the problems can easily be corrected by fixing yourself.
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
Most people who know me professionally know that I can get very passionate about what I believe. I do think this is a strength, but like anything too much of something can be bad. Nearly two years ago I took over the role of Instructional Technology Coordinator for my school district. Mostly this was due to being in the right place at the right time. I had a passion for technology and my district was growing a 1:1 program. It just made sense for several reasons including my math background.
To start with, I always thought of Instructional Technology as a trainer position that would simply show teachers how to use different tools. I loved tech, I loved to figure stuff out, so even though I don't know how to use everything we have, I am one of the people in my district that will spend hours figuring stuff out. So yeah, I can say I was qualified to help teachers in this way. My problem is I have this other passion, and that is learning, and researching. I blame my professor, Dr. Richard Rose from West Texas A&M for this. During my time in his Instructional Design and Technology program he lit a fire in me that I didn't know existed. So why is this a problem?
Sometimes blind ambition leads you astray despite good intentions. I have been fortunate to speak to some very strong leaders in the world of Ed Tech and Innovative education. David Jakes tried to clue me into my problem a little over two months when he said what I was wanting to do was above my title or pay grade. Of course at the time, I said, YES that is correct I shouldn't have to do this or that, but I do because nobody else is doing it. You see my problem was still there, it was ME. It was the fact that despite good intentions, I was missing the boat.
To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal
You see, the "chump" in the room was me. As I was figuring out my role, I was constantly trying to make sure that what we did with Ed Tech would match our Curriculum vision. I bugged people in the dept that we had to come up with a common theme of vision. Really to the point of being annoying (those that know me would be shocked I'm sure).
The mission of the Sulphur Springs Independent School District is to provide students with the skills that will prepare them to adapt and excel in a fast-changing world, enabling them to lead productive lives. The district shares with parents and the community the responsibility of promoting high standards and expectations as we provide opportunities for all students within our diverse community to attain personal growth and to become lifelong learners.
So above is our District mission statement. It has been the same since before I even came to the district, and finally one day I re-read it and decided yes, that is great (especially the underlined words) and so I set out to make sure that what we do with Instructional tech ties back into our mission statement. Sound logical thinking, right? Well my problem is that I let myself go astray again by essentially creating my own mission or "agenda." It wasn't a bad thing, not a personal agenda to go against others, or to improve myself over others, but it has altered a lot of my thinking.
If there was a problem, yo, I'll solve it
For me, I had to solve the problem of ensuring that our classrooms were innovative, and our teachers were all embracing all of the stuff that I believe to be important in that regard. I spend a ridiculous amount of time researching and reading and trying to make sure that we are doing things that are sound. And in so many ways what we do is really good. But it doesn't match everything that we should be all about. Again the elephant in the room is the fact that what I think we should be all about doesn't mean squat. My job is to carry out the vision and mission of my superiors. There are many things that they would like to accomplish right now also, but they know that we cannot throw everything out at once or our people will flounder miserably.
You see there is a fine line between leading and pushing. I tend to be a pusher, despite wanting to be a leader. I have really been working hard at trying to step back and help serve people rather than try to get them to all think like me. I have felt like I was making great strides, but last night it hit me. I sat with our Superintendent and said our common vision stinks. He graciously let me state my opinion, and didn't fire me, which I appreciate. He then followed it up with a well directed statement that was the nicest way he could have said to me that my mission wasn't a common one. It wasn't in those exact words, and I am not sure he even knows the exact statement that I am referring to directly. But the reality is it finally sank in, NO we do not have a common vision for what I personally think is best, but please note that I agree with things we are doing. That is true, but it is also because my vision or mission is NOT what the district mission or vision is, because it is not where the district is at this point in time, which I must recognize.
Yes I see eye to eye on a lot of things, but where my passion lies, is not where our district needs to be right now. My superiors have a common vision. They meet and they are on the same page and have their goals. I go back to David Jakes and his kick in the pants to me. It is not MY role to come up with what our common vision should be. It is my role to make sure our district vision is met. Take initiative for things that are in my wheel house, and give input when appropriate. There are a lot of "problems" that are not mine to solve. When they are not your problems, it doesn't mean that you don't stay proactive in addressing them when found, but remember that someone else with much more information is already working on those problems. It was said to me multiple times in multiple ways and I did "get it" at the time it was said, but I really didn't listen absorb it the way I should.
It is amazing how well I can hear that music the DJ is revolving, when I just get out of my own way. While my particular story may not relate to you, I do challenge you to really look at how you handle situations and determine if you are part of the problem as well. I think when we really look at things, we will see that before we complain, we need to make sure we have our house in order first.
Part 1 in a 7 part series on navigating the 7 C's of education.
In the Knowledge Age there is one constant. Educators must embrace this constant to ensure student learning needs are met. That constant is Change.
Consider for a minute how much has changed in society since Social Media became popular.
Take a moment to wrap your mind around those facts. Before the mid 2000's nobody could have understood the impact Social Media would play on society today.
If we stop to take a moment to think about how social media has changed the news media landscape the same reality sets in. For most of our lives we relied on news media outlets to provide information about the world. Today, we can live stream with someone in a war torn country, or watch just about anything from anywhere in real time, even sitting in our car while in traffic. The news from around the world is now at our fingertips and more mobile than ever before. For our students in school today, this is the world they know. This is the world they live in. This is just one of many examples of what we need to be evaluating in regard to student learning. We must recognize where our "audience" is or we will become obsolete.
Education reforms and ideas come and go. Often times the joke is that if you wait long enough the new buzzword or trend will be replaced with another soon, and what you are being asked to do today will be forgotten. One could say that change has always been the constant in education. In many cases when you look at what students are asked to do, significant changes are incredibly slow in reality. The problem lies with the fact that in the Knowledge Era the world is changing at a faster rate than ever before. Technology has been the accelerator for these changes and graduating students today must be equipped to deal with the world they face. A world that embraces CHANGE like never before.
Once we have accepted the fact that change is our new reality, we can begin to move forward with finding the best ways to reach students, and impact learning. The importance of relationships in the learning process will remain important. These relationships will allow us to truly understand our learners' needs. What are we doing currently to ensure that we understand our audience? Are we actively engaging our students, parents, and community in setting goals for what our schools are offering? Are we doing all we can to create an environment for learning, that prepares students to learn how to deal with change?
Finally, if we recognize this need, are we doing all we can as educators to model how this looks? I often fight with myself on where and how to push people to look at new things, especially in technology. One argument is often made that there is not enough time to teach the "lesson" and still deal with all the tech issues that might come up. I fully understand this argument, but in reality what we are doing by giving up right away is showing our students that it is ok to stick with what is comfortable or safe. In turn if we can model how to work through challenges and face them head on, we are serving as an example of perhaps the greatest life skill. The skill of being able to adapt to change. Sure our content is what we get measured by on paper and must be considered. I believe strongly that students who understand how to adapt to new challenges will be absorbing enough of the content in your lessons that they will fair well on a test.
As we navigate the new 7 C's of education, each week we will look at why each is important. I hope that as educators we embrace the importance of helping our students prepare for and react to change. This life skill will serve them in many more ways than the Pythagorean Theorem. This life skill is most easily taught by modeling the behavior in our own professional learning. Are you ready to embrace change, and look to discover the buried treasures that follow? It starts with one small step, simply read this series of blog posts as you begin your journey.