There has been so much going on at YIS that I haven’t had a clue where to start blogging. Beyond Laptops conference? Digital Citizenship Week? Moving into the instructor role of COETAIL? * There have been so many sincere, intense conversations about educational technology going on and I haven’t known how I can add to it. ** It’s an embarrassment of riches, but I’ve been stuck.
Then I saw this today:
On Friday, I saw the amazing Asako run around school cajoling everyone to dance for a video for elementary sports day. Everyone had a simple eight beats to dance. And everyone danced***. The kids. The Head of School. The teachers. The parents. The security staff. The Head of Academics. The secretaries. More kids. It was just so much fun to watch people take a couple of minutes and do a little dance. And then this video is so joyous. It has nothing to do with curriculum or learning objectives, but it made me remember why I love being in schools. The fact this video exists makes YIS a better place to be. And schools should always be this fun. For the kids, yes. But for us adults too.
I love a good fight about educational policy****. I get really geekily excited unit planning. I want to keep learning everything I can about new pedagogy and new ways of teaching. I am passionate about implementing thoughtful curriculum. And yes, I complain about marking and countdown days to vacation. But if this job ever stops being fun, I’m finding a new one.
There is a cliche that technology in education isn’t about the tool but about the learning. You choose what learning objective you have (storytelling, visual literacy, research skills, etc) and what content to teach (Industrial Revolution/Globalization/Silk Road) and then find the tool (social media/web2.0 tools/iMovie, etc)*****. I believe this. I am extremely thoughtful about how I integrate technology into my classroom and how I plan my assessments. Most of the time ******. Sometimes we just have fun. We play with a new tool that I just saw on Twitter. I try out a new teaching strategy because it sounds interesting. Sometimes we film a movie without a storyboard. We spend a little extra time on something because it’s fun and makes us laugh. And it’s little things like these that makes a classroom a better place to be, for me and my students. And who knows where this can lead us? Because what we do is important work, but we don’t always have to be so serious.
* There could also be a post about how working with Kim offers so many incredible opportunities. And how that leads to a lot of googledocs.
** I will blog about all those things. I’ve started about three separate posts, but I’m still struggling.
*** One of my favorite memories is getting into a heated debate with my roommate about some educational policy issue on the DC metro. Only in DC would people be used to very loud wonky policy talk by twenty-somethings on a weekend night.
****I will make the admission that I did not dance for the video when asked. I have danced as a William Hung backup dance, a Gwen Stefani Backup dancer, a Sean Paul backup dancer and my star-turn as Nelly Furtado in front of 2000 screaming students at Lee HS legendary pep rallys. Talk about fun. But this was before cell-phone cameras and I need a live audience.
***** If any non-tech or non-ed people are reading this, this is the idea that if you want to talk to your best friend, it doesn’t matter if you do it on a phone, on Skype, or Google Voice. The tool doesn’t matter. The talking is the only thing that matters
****** To any current or future employers/bosses, I really am a thoughtful educator. I promise. Please go read my other blog posts if you’re worried.