We Are All On A Journey

I have been spending my time lately presenting, attending and learning at a whole host of conferences. There is a distinct theme bubbling up in all of these conferences regardless of the location or size. Everyone is at a different place in their learning journey.

As I sit through session after session, I am finding less and less that is new to me. One might find this frustrating but I think it is a good sign. As I write this, I am sitting in a session where the speaker is sharing Prezi and Voicethread. Clearly this is not new to me or to a majority of my readers here. Yet, there are folks in the session frantically writing down these tools on their yellow legal pad. Seriously? Are these people living under a rock?

Well, last year I remember being very frustrated at the lack of technology use when I attended these technology conferences. Yet, I have to remind myself that I too, was a legal pad user not too long ago. I truly believe we are all on a journey and at different places along that path. It is disheartening to see some of the negative thoughts in the blogosphere or twitter streams bashing teachers that are not “with it” yet. I don’t know that we need to ridicule these teachers as much as help them on their journey.

Some teachers are at the front end of technology use or education trends due to the resources available to them and other environmental variables. I presented today and mentioned Khan Academy, Hole in the Wall Theory, Daniel Pink and the Flipped Classroom…many of the attendees were unaware of any of these things. This was a good thing for me, because that is more people that I can hopefully open a door for. Rather than chastise those for not being “informed” let’s bring them along.

I would rather have a room full of newbies that know nothing about what I am talking about. First, they won’t know if I am totally of full of it. Also, that just means I have an opportunity to challenge their thinking and potentially open their eyes to something new. We all have an obligation to help people on the journey because we all started somewhere and at some point someone helped us too.

8 comments:

Miss R. said...

Great thoughts. I am having a similar experience, and more than anything it has inspired me to put together a presentation (or 2) of my own for ICE 2013. If I am more advanced in my tech integration in my classroom, it is my responsibility to spread the wealth of knowledge to others that are eager to learn!

Jacob Smithers said...

Josh.....I have come to follow what you do from the education world, and have to give you mad props!!!!

NCC should be proud of Superman for what you have done in the classroom, as well as the community.

Your insight is well beyond your years, yet your experiences allow you to bring the newer ray of light to the already burning sun of education.

Keep up your work......

Jake Smithers

J Allen said...

I always start out my grad classes saying that, I don't care where you are at with using technology, it's only important that you are further along when we are done. Some need hand holding, some need that extra push or light bulb turned on, some need you to move out of their way. Great post as always.

Mrs. Akahoshi said...

Thank you for stating the frustrations floating around my head and organizing them at the same time. Thanks more for reminding me that we are all on our own pace of things. I needed that reminder a lot.

pennedtech@gmail.com said...

Josh - You're right. Just like the kids and parents are in many different places, so are we. We have to identify those "places" and meet them where they are if we want them to move past the legal pad so to speak. Thanks for your thought-provoking ideas and for your work. Looking forward to meeting you and other PLN tweeps at #ASCD12

Curt Rees said...

Great post Josh. I was thinking about this same topic recently when considering how much most of my teachers knew about educational technology. I think back to what I knew a year ago and realize how much I've learned in that time. If educators are motivated and see how well these tools can help their instruction and help increase motivation, they will pick it up quite quickly. They just need someone to show them the tool and how to use it. Teachers are smart people and will implement it fairly quickly and effectively.

Coach_Morrison3 said...

well said! I have colleagues that stop in my room on almost a daily basis wanting me to show them something or help them get on Twitter. First reaction is always the "where have you been" but it is certainly a rewarding experience to open someone's eyes to a new tool! Well done Josh!

Janet Abercrombie said...

I'm learning to be careful with terms like "the cloud."

I guess folks like us should be running more sessions. Then again, my students usually figure out the tech then teach it to one another. I tell them whether or not the final product meets expectations and encourage next steps.

Janet | expateducator.com