Blog and Learn

I came across this today on a internet browsing path that I wouldn’t be able to recall. At times when browsing the internet I feel like this.

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There is so much information available that it can be so overwhelming and distracting and the creation of digital content can easily take a back seat. Often, it is not until I begin to create content where thoughts, ideas, reflections, and deeper learning come into focus.

As I begin to create and participate more digitally with others, I find myself refining my thoughts and observations surrounding how to blog and use twitter (I can’t get used to saying “tweet”). I am faced with choices of identity, representation of others, interaction etiquette, and blogging skill development. There is no doubt that blogging is hard for me. But like many things, I find that there is only so much preparation before jumping into something with two feet. It is not until I hit the “publish” button on this blog that I get the same experience as standing in front of a group to teach for the first time. I vividly remember standing in front of my practicum classroom, the nervous recess beforehand, and the over analysis of my 30 minute lesson. But I also remember the buzz, the deep reflection with my supervisor, and my significant learning that followed. I was hooked. And interestingly, I wanted to immediately share it.

Last night I was listening to a colleague, Judi Chessa,  a grade 5 teacher at Craigflower Elementary, reflect about her day of teaching. At the end of her reflection, I boldly challenged her and asked “And so why wouldn’t you blog about that?”.  It would be the similar motivation to share for her, and I want her to shout her reflections from the hilltops because she has so much to share.  But is she ready?

In many ways, blogging for me has been a similar experience. I have spent time collecting, preparing, reflecting, and observing blogging. But it was not till I have begun to write my reflections out that deeper learning came to life.  Along the way, I wonder how blogging with continue to shape my design, vision, and innovative tool contribution to education in my school district. At this point, I want to get as many other educators experiencing learning through blogging as I do.  I really feel like it is the way forward.  But it is also about meeting educators where they at, with support and design to lower thresholds and generate educator buy in.

Related Articles:

George Couros (@gcouros) –  (2011 )-  Collaborate. Create. Learn.  – http://www.slideshare.net/gcouros/collaborate-create-learn

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Why I am an educator – #savmp

As part of being involved in #savmp, the School Admin Virtual Mentor Program, I have been asked to reflect on one of two questions: Why do I lead? or Why I am an educator?  I have chosen the second question because at this point, being fresh into a leadership position in my school district, I am still in the design stage of the structure and systems surrounding my position.

Introduction:

The last three years I was a computer lab teacher in two elementary schools in Victoria, BC, Canada. My focus began in establishing a computer lab program and website for K-5 students, where I provided a digital space for students to explore, create, and re-create. My position quickly grew to using iPads in literacy classrooms when the school district purchased them for our school. I began sharing a blog, networking with other teachers with a similar position, and sharing my new findings and resources with colleagues. Just recently, I became an employee at the district as an Educational Technology Co-Ordinator. The job change entails even more learning, researching, connecting, and sharing with colleagues and students. I will be focusing on connecting with colleagues and supporting pedagogy and use of new tools in the classroom. Greater Victoria School District 61 has recognized the needs that many of my colleagues in the district were identifying: the need for a greater support regarding the use of technology in the classroom. Hopefully, with my position, I will be heading straight towards this need while problem solving and growing throughout the whole process to find solutions and systems that work.

Curiosity

Why am I an Educator?

I am an educator first and foremost because I love to learn. I am curious about all things and I love to investigate, problem solve, and creatively search for solutions. I am consistently searching out answers to things that I don’t know, or the history of buildings and cities, or natural world, or why people are the way they are.  Even as I write this blog post, a million questions are flying through my mind about this coming year, this position, this blog, and the new people I get to connect with and meet.

I am an educator also because I love people. I love developing new relationships with people and finding out what makes them tick. I love encouraging others to act in their gifting and to help people.  I love being a mentee, and I love being able to mentor and share with others. There is nothing more rich than a relationship that causes insight, reflection, and discovery of who I am as a person. I see how I am personally involved in my professional life, how there is an overlap, and how there is a disconnect. Ultimately, I see how education is based around learning relationships, mentorship, and professional learning network development.

In order to properly answer the original question, I came to reflect on the core values of my educational philosophy. Although this will always be a work in progress. Here are a few values/goals of my educational philosophy:

–       instill and restore a curiosity of the unknown for students

–       create spaces in school for students to imagine, create, and innovate

–       inspire a motivation to learn, explore and challenge

–       motivate to build relationships and engage in the various mentorship levels

–       support in learning and provide insight into who we are

–       prepare students with skills required in our 21st century world

–       challenge how education is shaped and help innovate new directions for schools

In closing, one particular person I want to acknowledge in this blog post is George Couros. I am so thankful for him and how he has set up the #savmp. I recognize how he is responding to a need in education, and the creative pairing of the need with the new ability to connect and mentor online across the world. Also, of the hundreds of educators involved in the mentor/mentee system #savmp, I am feeling thankful, excited, and nervous to be one of the three mentees that mentor George Couros has chosen.

Any thoughts?