Why I Do What I Do – Thoughts on EdChatPosted: April 1, 2010
Yesterday’s EdChat focused on the topic of passion in education. Specifically, finding your passion and sustaining it. How it affects our schools, our classrooms, and our students. This week’s EdChat was a warm-up conversation for the evening Elluminate session with Sir Ken Robinson, author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. The full video recording, mp3 file, and chat log can be found here if you missed it.
The conversation during EdChat helped me to go back and think about where my passion for education originated, and how it has evolved into what it is today. I’d like to share some of those thoughts.
Where did my passion to be an educator originate? I credit this to two very important teachers. One is my mom, who is a retired teacher, and the other is my 5th grade teacher who also was my mentor teacher during my student teaching. These two women were (and still are) incredible role models for countless teachers and students.
When I was teaching elementary school, and began to soak up all the instructional technology resources I had available, I felt compelled to share this newly gained knowledge with anyone that would listen.
After getting my Masters in Educational Technology, I was fortunate enough to become an Instructional Technology Specialist for a great school district, which is where I am today.
I have been in my element for the last 6 years. I am passionate about sharing instructional technology resources, tools, and strategies with K-12 teachers. My passion is continually refueled when I hear about and see teachers getting excited and passionate, which ultimately impacts student achievement.
In October 2008 I came across a new resource that quickly became another great way to continually renew my passion for educational technology. It’s a little thing called Twitter. You probably haven’t heard of it. 🙂 Twitter quickly became my Professional Learning Network, or PLN. I am now connected with other like-minded educators all over the world. These people have an incredible passion to share how technology is having a positive impact on education. Not only within the walls of our schools, but also bringing the world to our classrooms through tools like Skype and Twitter. These people are change agents, lifelong learners, advocates, leaders, classroom teachers, administrators, college professors, and educational/instructional technology specialists. It is 24/7 professional development. That’s free. Yes, FREE! We teachers hear the word free and we are like a moth to the flame are we not?
I am passionate about instructional technology and the impact it can have on students. Whether it be a tool or strategy used inside the classroom, or making global connections to bring other parts of the world to us. No, the technology is not designed to make us better teachers. Does it help us? Sure it does. The ultimate goal should be its impact on students.
Steven Anderson talked about this today at TeachMeet Nashville during a panel discussion. He also talked about the impact that the real-time web and social media is having on our teaching practices. Steven said, “How many of you have your lesson plans go perfectly the first time? Think about what having a Professional Learning Network via Twitter has done for education. Let’s say I teach my lesson plan the first time during 2nd hour. Then during passing period I could send out a tweet to my PLN asking for suggestions or resources that would help me improve the lesson being taught. I am changing my teaching practices in real-time. This was unheard of previously.”
I then immediately tweeted the following after hearing Steven talk about bringing Tom Whitby into the panel discussion on the fly via Skype and being able to change your teaching in real-time:
I’m passionate about the Power of the PLN. I’m passionate on the impact it can have to enhance our instruction and positively impact students. I’m passionate about sharing instructional technology tools and resources with teachers. My name is Kyle Pace, and I’m in my element.
Thanks for reading.