I’ve been trying for a week now to block out some time to really reflect on my experiences at the ISTE conference. But with my hubby remodeling the kitchen (fridge is currently in the living room), July 4th weekend, a friend’s wedding, and grad school work piling up, the reflecting has taken place in spare moments here and there. I will sit down and filter through the multitude of resources that I filed away from my sessions. The conference was such an incredible experience for me and left me fired up and ready to roll. So here are my three take-aways from ISTE10:
1. We have to help our students obtain a global perspective. We all know that the world has changed so much in the last 25 years. In my lifetime, the internet has completely opened up the world. Our students will be able to communicate and collaborate instantly with people from all over the world in their careers, and it’s our job to prepare them for that. In order for them to be good citizens in a global society, we must give them experiences now that will help them in becoming globally aware. This includes learning about other places and cultures, becoming good environmental stewards, and making real life connections with peers world wide. The resources that we have now make this possible in a way that wasn’t just a few years ago. The activities that we do in the library this year are going to be geared towards helping students gain a global perspective.
2. Students need to have opportunities to create and share. Obviously, trends in education are changing. If we are going to give our students what they need (and crave), there is going to have to be a revolution in the way we teach. Student-centered classrooms mean project-based learning. And these projects are going to have a strong foundation of technology. But when we create something awesome, don’t we all want to share it with the world? Why else do we blog, after all? And we can share it with the world — shouldn’t our students be able to do the same? This creating and sharing is where a lot of us are running into road blocks. I, for one, am tired of being told that I can’t do something that I know would be a great learning opportunity for my students. So this year, I am picking up the torch and fighting the filter. For the sake of our students, things have to change. If they don’t, we’ll keep falling farther behind.
3. Don’t be intimidated — jump in and share! I was star-struck at ISTE. I met two of my library idols — Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones. I mean, these women are library goddesses. I was SHAKING when I met them, because they are what I aspire to be. They were so kind and welcoming, and encouraged me to step up and participate at the Library Smackdown — and I did! I met so many amazing educators whose blogs and tweets I follow, and it was hard not to be intimidated! By the end of the conference, I was (more) comfortable and decided that the time had come for me to start taking part in the world of Ed Tech. I may not feel like I have much to offer, but I’m passionate about what I do and I’m always looking to grow. That’s what’s most important, right??
I’m sure my posts will be circling back to ISTE10 for quite some time. I have a long road ahead of me in fighting for the freedom to do what’s best for my students. Their future is worth fighting for!
Here I am with the library goddesses Joyce and Gwyneth.
And here I am with the SimpleK12 girls…but you can’t see their blue bunny slippers