Why do I bother?Posted: February 28, 2011
I bother because I love to share resources and ideas for the integration of technology. I love to help teachers, whether they’re inside my district or not. I love to offer support and my knowledge (albeit limited :) ) to teachers that want to know how to bring more technology into their students’ learning experiences (yes, I know the focus should be on the learning). I bother because while many in this space already know how to use many of the resources and tools out there, there are always going to be teachers that this space is brand new to. What’s not new to one, is brand new to many more and who would we be to squelch their excitement? It’s all about sharing. Sharing what works, what doesn’t work, and more importantly what it did positively for our students. According to Dean Shareski’s K12 Online Conference keynote, it’s our moral imperative to share. If you haven’t watched this, stop and do it now. Then (because you will want to know) watch The Making of a Keynote. Good stuff.
Not only have I watched Dean’s keynote, but I was also lucky to learn from him and Alec Couros at Educon 2.3 last month in Philadelphia. Their conversation was titled The Ethical Obligation to Teach, Learn & Share Globally. You can click on the title to read the description and you can go here to watch the recording. We talked a lot in this session about sharing with each other (and in turn learning from each other) as an ethical obligation for teachers in the digital age in which we live and learn.
I’ve been lurking in on lots of conversations lately. While I do like to share resources, blog posts, and retweet others’ ideas; it’s engaging in conversation where we truly have authentic learning experiences and get different perspectives and ideas. Even when the conversation is with those whose views are different from our own. This is another reason why I bother. The learning opportunities exist, so I take them in (in realistic moderation). I have a strong knowledge of tools and resources but I always want to learn more. I want to learn how to use them to positively impact student learning. We want our students to be strong producers of content, to make contributions, to the content that the digital world has to offer; not just consume it.
When our PLN colleagues share resources and excitement about what’s happening in classrooms with technology, they are fulfilling their desire to share the great things that are happening despite all the other issues with education in this country. It doesn’t matter if it’s because their students were using a new tech tool, or if they’re implementing a 1:1/2:1/iPad/iPod Touch/Netbook initiative. They’re passionate about it and we should be encouraging each other’s efforts regardless, along with constructive criticism when necessary or requested. What they’re sharing matters to them, and while I stressed the importance of feedback and conversation from/with multiple points of view; general poking fun (blatant or cryptic) and cynical tweets do not foster further connected sharing.
We don’t want anyone to think, “Why do I bother?” and stop sharing which will likely stop the learning. We want the passion for learning and growing and sharing to continue so whenever someone thinks, “Why do I bother?”, they’ll know exactly why they bother. And keep on doing it.
I bother because I love to share, and I love to learn. Thanks for reading.