Archive for category PLN

Finding My Passion

Since late October I have not really enjoyed going to work.  It was a chore and I did my duty, looking forward to my exit time at the end of the day.  I realized yesterday why this has happened.  It has been about the “stuff” lately and not about the learning or the people.   This was a necessary evil as it was my campuses time to get new computers.  New computers are a blessing and a curse, but for me it took my attention away from what I love about my job.  So now with winter break approaching I am desperate to find something to hold onto to take me through the long spring semester.    I stumbled upon a pin on pinterest about a “Genius Hour” that a 5th grade teacher was implementing.  I was fascinated.   I want my kids in this classroom.  But more importantly I want to be this kind of teacher!

I started searching for more information about Genius Hour to see what I could find.  I found http://www.geniushour.com/ run by Chris Kessler (@iamkesler) and started reading.  I am hooked.  I am not sure how to implement this strategy as an Instructional Technology Specialist, since I don’t teach in a classroom.  I also think those I work with are overwhelmed, but maybe they are not. Maybe they need a fresh take as I do.  It doesn’t hurt to ask, and I plan on asking after the Christmas break.

I began asking myself, what would be my passion project?  What would I investigate?  That is when I think about the last few months on the job and the focus on the “stuff.”   I want to investigate how to get away from the stuff and focus on the learning and the people.  To start on this journey I purchased one of the books suggested on the Genius Hour website – “Teach Like A Pirate” by Dave Burgess.  Okay – so I first looked at the book because I liked the title and my college mascot is a pirate, so it spoke to me.  Turns out Pirate stands for traits in a good teacher.  P is for Passion.  Passion can come from the 1)Content, 2)Profession and 3)Personal.

I got stuck trying to answer the question “What is it about being an educator that drive you?”  This should be an easy question, but it wasn’t.  I could not pinpoint what it was that I enjoyed about my profession, especially the technology side of things.  I was having fun in the classroom when I took this position 13 years ago.  Why did I take it?  Why did I leave?

  • I took it because I wanted to help teachers reach students in new ways.
  • I liked helping teachers make sense of how technology could fit into their classrooms.
  • I wanted to impact more students that I could in my own classroom.

I did not take it because I love laptops, tablets, desktops, chromebooks, android, google, apple, windows, office, web 2.0, or any of the other “stuff” out there.    This answer has been freeing to me.  I am looking forward to learning more about how this is going to look in the coming semester and the impact it will make.

I also am contemplating the future of this blog.  So far it has been about how to work the tools, but I really want to focus on the learning that happens with the tools.  I have tried to jumpstart the blog for the past year or so without success. Does it need a new name?  Has it served it’s purpose and it’s time to move on?  We shall see.   For now I am going to use it to journal my thoughts  and ah-ha moments as I move through the book and through my own search to find my passion in my chosen profession.

 

 

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Technology Tuesday – December 13th

Resources and Articles that caught my attention this week.

Mathtrain.tv  – http://mathtrain.tv/
Math videos created by students.

YouTube for Education –  http://www.youtube.com/education_channels?level=primary_secondary_education 

Lists the different Youtube Channels focused mostly on the K12 classrooms. Channels including Biography Channel (lots of celebrities but also historical characters), Encyclopedia Britannica, Smithsonian Channel, etc. Worth checking out!

BYOT: 10 Schools Encouraging Smartphones in the Classroom: http://edudemic.com/2011/12/smartphones-in-classrooms/
This article covers 10 schools and what they are doing with smartphones and what the results have been. Great data to use when considering using BYOT in the classroom.

QuadBlogging – http://quadblogging.net/
Join 4 other schools to share blogs. This guarantees your blog site will get heavy traffic for at least a week from students in another part of the world. Signup on the website. This is a great way to improve student’s writing abilities and create those personal learning networks that are required in the Technology TEKS. You can still sign up for the next round happening in January 2012.

Digiteen Project: Gloabl Citizenship Collaboration and Education  – http://www.digiteen.org/timeline.html
Part of the flatclassroom series. Apply now to join in with other 6-9 graders in exploring digital citizenship. This project includes research and a on-campus project to implement what they have learned from the research. Project runs February through May. Applications are due Feburary 1.

Skype in the Classroom  – http://education.skype.com/
Join other classrooms in projects that include collaborating together online. Join a project already proposed or submit your own proposal for others to join in. Proposals are divided into age groups, language and categories. Worth taking a look!

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