Comfortable being a beginner?

Reports are done, it was great to see all the progress our community has made throughout the year. As I’ve been reflecting on this, and my new position (in tech) I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of being a beginner.

Jeff Utecht posted this on his blog sometime last year. I’ve been rereading it just about every month, mostly to remind myself, to be comfortable in new situations. As teachers, I feel that we are under some obligation to know, have experience, or have mastery of something.  Our tech world is constantly changing and evolving, so we are always beginners, or should be if we subscribe to this idea of life long learning.

My new position, is going to make me uncomfortable at times. I’m not the kind of person who really wants to call myself a technology leader. I understand that it is useful, I see an amazing opprotunity to engage learners, I hope for the best, but I don’t feel like I’m leading. Jeff’s post really reminds me that, it is okay to feel that way, for that, I’m really thankful.

As always, I want to know more about incorporting slow pedagogy, or environmental education into this new tech position. I wonder, what the future holds, and what information, or skills we really need.

Thanks Jeff

Slow Pedagogy in a Fast World

I am still working on my thesis, a participatory action research project, that looks at how teachers engage in environmental education.

I’ve been taken by this article by Payne and Wattchow.

As I’ve been reading it, I’ve been wondering about how we, as educators, can develop a slow pedagogy as well as the tech skills necessary to live in a constantly changing world. How can we, “live in natural places over time”and encourage students to explore the quickly changing digital world?

I’ve been having students sit in “magic spots” (a place where they choose at the beginning of the year, and sit there everyday for ten minutes) so they have a connection to their specific place. The plan (for next year) is to have them bring an ipad out once a week and take a picture of their spot. They can use the technology to show changes over time, make a stop motion video, or a blog highlighting the connection they have to their place, as well as the changes they have noticed, and the feelings associated with both of these ideas.

I teach at an international school, and I constantly think about how students are displaced, or disconnected from their “natural” environment. As a result, I think, they turn to virtual places to find their identity.

Just torn, as usual, about what to do through tech. How can I share my two passions while making sure we provide the same kind of opportunities for future students to be outside.

My Media Presence

As a person I wonder about putting things online. It used to be fear of the unknown, then people knowing too much (privacy concerns). I mean, who puts their thoughts online, and why do they do it?

Now I’m thinking more about the idea of establishing positive media presence. There are all kinds of blogs that have been talking about the idea of positive media presence. This isn’t just about getting jobs, or keeping up with the times. It’s more about the idea of creating a community, enhancing my ability as an educator, and really engaging with the world around me (something that is really hard for the environmentalist in me to understand).

While checking out other blogs I came upon this guy Brendan Lea. This article really made me think about how we need to be positive role models for students online. If we want students to engage positively and effectively online, we need to do it ourselves. Try it out, learn from it.

So, this is the beginning of my journey. Exploring how to use technology in education, calming the fears of co-workers, parents and the larger community and enhancing student involvement.

Let me know what you are you doing. How you started off? What you learned from, how you would improve, those types of things.

Big thanks to @PENathan for showing me that this is the first step to take.