How true, how true. Getting to know the students, their interests, their strengths, their needs- this is a difficult task at best. And as a leader, the same is true with getting to know the educators you lead. I think this comes down to the question, "What is your vision?" Am I here to teach and learn? If so, this requires me to learn about my students in such a way that all my decisions revolve around what I know about them.
It is remarkably easy to teach and lead poorly.
The technology did not make the educator fundamentally different. It amplifies good teaching just as it amplifies bad teaching.
In my role as an instructional technology specialist at the elementary schools, I have to stay focused on the goal, the vision, the mission. And I have to remind myself that encouraging teachers to use technology essentially for the sake of technology itself is far from my vision. It is easy to fall into that situation, because my passion is exploring the ways technology can be infused in learning environments. But, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY. It's about learning. Period. So, technology in the hands of a bad teacher (or a bad leader) is terrifying, because it really will amplify all the wrong things (and encourage those not involved in "the conversations" to continue questioning the benefit of technology in education).
Become a reflective practitioner.
Last night, back at the hotel, Katie and I discussed our role, our philosophy, our vision. I think the two of us challenge each other to think outside of our comfort zone and continually evaluate what we do and why we do it. It isn't always easy, but we try to purposefully reflect on what we believe and what we should do to help students and teachers.
Our students deserve better. Our future requires better.
I often say that we are doing a disservice to our children when they walk in our door, unplug, disconnect, and stop talking. When four walls define the learning environment, we limit the possibilities. Our students do deserve better and I have been reminded at the conference that I need to spend some time talking with and listening to the students. I know they have a lot to say.
Great session to keep me thinking about school 2.0, what it means, and what my role really is. It was a great springboard to some thoughtful conversations.