Monday, May 4th, I attended Digital Leadership Day: The Roadmap to Classroom Transformation at Region 10, my area service center, in Richardson, Texas. This event was hosted by Region 10 Tech, and the day was spent learning, growing, sharing, and reflecting with my campus leadership team. The day was full of whole group, small group, and breakout sessions Edcamp style facilitated by Kristen Swanson, the founder of Edcamp.
I might have been a little bitty teeny bit excited to meet Kristen Swanson.There were three simple goals for the day.
1. Student voice matters
2. Personalization matters
3. Change requires active management
When I left for the day, my brain was on fire with ideas that I just cannot wait to try and share with my students and teachers on my campus. You can see what we learned here.
When I attend any type of training, I try to reflect from three different lenses, past, present and future. Here's what I learned.....
If I knew then what I know now.....
I would have spent more time asking students how they truly felt about my instruction. The student panel was by far the greatest part of the day for me. Students from elementary school through high school participated in a candid panel discussion on the services we provide to them daily. As the students shared their thoughts, I simply heard them say the same thing to me over and over again. "We don't want to be bored!" I laugh even now as I type this, but they truly did say it in their own way. It seems so simple to them, but it truly is a planning task to create learning opportunities for students that both cover the state standards and light students' learning fire. I heard....
- "Technology makes it so difficult to hold a tangible book and search for resources I can easily find on the Internet"
- "Teachers need to learn and use technology so they can be on the same level as us."
- "We expect teachers to use more than just PowerPoint."
- "We need to connect more and let's just have fun in the classroom.There's no need for it to be boring!"
- "Teachers should not be afraid to say I don't know."
Yesterday reaffirmed the fact that teachers must be lifelong learners. We must keep up with the high learning demands of our consumers, our students. They long for the opportunity to interact with each other and the world outside of the four walls in which we teach. Long gone are the days when education was simply for you at your seat with a book. This is not how they live. This is how they learn. It is our job to teach them in the manner in which they learn. After yesterday's learning, I am even more committed to continue to learn and grow in this amazing profession. I will continue to grow my PLN by chatting with educators from all over the globe via Twitter. I will find more innovative ways to reach teachers and students. I will review each lesson or PD session to myself before sharing it with others and ask myself, "If I were in the audience, would I enjoy this?"
My next steps are.....
One of the activities we completed yesterday was Horizon Brainstorming. Through this activity, each leadership team in attendance was able to collaboratively discuss ways to make our digital visions a reality. Then, we were able to steal ideas from other participants. That was an added bonus! There were a few ideas discussed that will become my focal points for PD and teacher support for the remainder of the school year and the fall.
- You can gamify anything, including PD. Teachers deserve to have fun too!
- We don't have to meet for everything. Flipped PD is just as powerful and purposeful.
- Doing an "electronic worksheet" is not going to cut it for students any more.
- ALL learning must be more like a bicycle. It must take the learner somewhere.