Wrapping Up, Looking Back, Moving Forward

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

And we’re coming down to the wire! The deadline is today (Friday March 22). But I won’t make the last sweep through all your blog posts until Sunday. My wedding anniversary is Saturday and I’m actually going to take the day off! So that gives you a little wiggle room on the deadline. 🙂

You’ve all done an amazing job. Many of you have done at least 5 things and we have quite a few who have already finished all 9! No matter how many things you finished, give yourselves a pat on the back for everything you did, especially during this extremely busy and challenging school year.

Some Parting Thoughts

A recent blog post by David Lankes, Beyond the Bullet Points: Rock Stars, reminds us to always think about the big questions of why we do what we do. With that in mind and as we come to the end of this project, I’ve been reminding myself of the larger goals of this project. Sure, we wanted everyone to explore lots of different tech tools. But really, the goals were bigger than ‘look at all the cool new shiny stuff.’

PLAY: We wanted everyone to have time to play with technology, to get past being afraid of breaking things and making mistakes.  Being able to quickly test a new tool and assess whether it fits your needs are critical skills these days.  As is being nimble and willing to try something different when something doesn’t go as expected.  Some of my favorite comments were along the lines of “wow, I can use this tool tomorrow, just what we needed” and “I wasn’t sure if would work, but I tried this with some of my students today.”

CONNECT: The other big goal was to provide opportunities to make connections and expand your network of people you can call on to share ideas and ask for help. Connections with other folks taking the workshop, connections with other school staff where collaborations might be possible, with other educators around the world and connections with your own work.

And finally, this blog post by George Couros, 4 Guiding Questions For Your IT Department,  posed a couple of ‘big questions’ that all educators, not just the IT department. need to keep in mind as we look at using tech (or any!) tools with our students. His first two questions are:

  • What is best for kids?
  • How does this improve learning?

Simple, but big and important!

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