Pause for Thanksgiving

Yesterday one of my favorite go-to organizations posted 3 things ISTE is thankful for. I couldn’t help but think of the educators and students I’ve had the privilege of learning from and with this last year as I skimmed ISTE’s highlights. So here’s my take on 3 things I’m thankful for.

Educators who are changing the world. Last month we celebrated Connected Educator month. You don’t have to go any further than the hashtag #CEM13 for a stream of educators who are in fact changing the world–and on a global scale. With mobile social media tools we can communicate and collaborate with colleagues and classrooms outside our school’s walls and beyond our community’s resources.

Kids who are teaching adults. A highlight of my year was getting to attend several Summer of eLearning conferences around the state. I took in keynote messages from the likes of George Couros, Will Richardson, Adam Bellow and Leslie Fisher. No doubt these individuals are all inspiring; however, not one held the audience’s attention like this young man who gave an opening keynote at the Greater Clark Connected Conference (G3).

I first met Matthew when I with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. He was part of the Student eLeaders group volunteering in the Technology Playground for our summer conference, the eRevolution. He and his peers welcomed teachers and administrators and led demonstrations on podcasting, green screens, and various apps and webtools. The kids embraced drafting “Rules for the Playground” and listed things like “don’t be afraid to do something wrong” and “have fun!” They also presented alongside their advisor Delyn Beard in breakout sessions. Listening to Matthew on stage this summer, I was wowed by how much he had processed in the past year and by the poise with which he delivered his message. On a side note, a big thanks to Teacher Cast for live broadcasting Matthew’s speech and archiving it for all to experience.

The amazing things students and teachers are doing with technology. There are so many examples to pull from in this category, but most recently I got to turn over the #INeLearn Chat to students and their teachers for a discussion about why every school should develop a student tech team. Scan the chat archive and you will see how the teachers, students and school community benefit from these leadership groups.