Thursday, November 18, 2010

Movie Magic and the Power of Sharing

As I am preparing for another IETC conference http://www.il-edtech.org/index.php?smenu=notes&page=ci I am reflective about why I decide to present at these conferences. I was talking to a colleague of mine and mentioning that I was going to be out of the building to do a presentation at IETC as well as attend some sessions. His first question to me was, "are they paying you to present?" Not sure if it was too early in the morning or not, but the question struck a nerve with me and caused me to reflect. Clearly, I am not being paid to present and don't see anytime in the future when people will be paying to hear what I have to say. Of course, I am not doing this for the money. I know that is a phrase many educators have said more times than we can count. However, the fact that someone would only want to share their experiences and knowledge for money was a rather ignorant belief to me.

So, why take a day off work and put time into preparing a session to present to a room full of strangers? For me the answer was simple, to share. One of my biggest frustrations is that teachers too often don't share and hide behind their classroom doors. I enjoy seeing what is going on in other places in my building, my district, my world. I look into those places not with a critical eye, but with the eye of a student. Keeping that in mind I want to see what is working well in other places and bring that into my classroom to benefit my students.

Back to my original question... I enjoy presenting because I get a chance to share the amazing work that my students have done. My hope is that something they have done will spark an idea or interest that will be brought to another classroom and another group of students. For those of you out there hiding good ideas behind your classroom doors, I ask you to open the door and share your knowledge with the rest of us.

With that in mind I share a short video clip that will be a part of my IETC presentation tomorrow. This particular video was done by a small group of students in my Social Science class. They were tasked with sharing contributions of the Indian Emperor Asoka. Rather than turning in the typical paragraph or PowerPoint they decided to write a short rap. Enjoy!


video
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