Sunday, January 29, 2017

FETC Reflection

When I walk away from a conference I feel full. Full of information. Full of ideas. Full of inspiration. I sit here a few days after FETC with that same feeling and feel the need to capture some of it here in a post.

My personal keynote occurred on Thursday morning. For me, a keynote should get you ready, excited and pumped for what you are about to do. I went to a 40 minute session with Jaime Casap and he did just that for me. His words have stayed with me, and I used them to measure every thing I heard throughout the rest of the conference. The title of his session: Impact of Technology. I wish I had it recorded and could just listen to it over and over.

His words were mostly a reality check. He said we keep talking about 21st century learning...we are 17 yrs in. What are we doing? Our expectations have changed, so what are we doing about it?

The generation we teach are: global, social, visual and technological. What skills do we need to to give them: problem solving, team work, and communication. He truly caused me to reflect on how am I promoting each of these skills and how often.

It starts with a change in some of our simple questions...instead of asking them, what do you want to be when you grow up, ask....what problem do you want to solve? When they begin to discover the problems they want to solve, they then have a purpose. Then we ask, what skills do they need for that purpose? Help them find their purpose, then empower them to make it happen.

I do try to fit in collaboration...but is it enough? In our current education world, aren't we checking to see what individuals know and can do? But it is with collaboration that problems will be solved.

He also pointed out that we need digital leaders. There is a need for a culture shift. Convert information (it is everywhere) into intelligence. How do we get them to think about things at the next level? Any child can quickly google who the first presidents were. Technology supports getting that information. How do we then take that information and get them thinking about it...use that information at a new level.

We need to take iteration and innovation together and transform. Transformation has NO endpoint. We are only getting started. The generation we will touch, will touch future generations. Our work in their lives has no end.

So with that in my mind, I approached the rest of my time thinking about each tool, each strategy and will it fit in? Will it promote the skills they need? I thought of my growing PLN and connections, and who were the models of this, what can I learn from them? How can I work with them to create that collaboration and problem solving models?

Very thankful for this experience and look forward to how my reflections help me to focus, beginning tomorrow for the needs of my students. I want to further explore and reflect...and make the transformation needed to be an educator of 21st century students experiencing 21st century skills!