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Thursday, June 9, 2016

See, perspective.

I was a conference earlier this week.

It reminded me of how much I have to learn...and how much I enjoy learning.

It also gave me some perspective.

This particular conference is still in its infancy and is attended almost exclusively by private school teachers.

I learned a ton of neat technology tips.

I got to see one of my colleagues give a presentation on podcasting-which is cool and completely terrifying.

I got a reminder of how different schools can be.

None without problems, just very different.

But the thing that had the biggest impact on me was one of the other attendees.

She was an older woman from a small private school.

She told me she had been teaching for forty years.

And that she was utterly baffled by technology.

She freely admitted that she needed help and was slow with computers.

But she tried.

She asked the group leaders and her neighbors for help.

She took copious notes.

She rocked it.

We attended two sessions together and I found her delightful.

I also admire the hell out of her.

I mean, come on, how could I not?

She is a forty year veteran teacher who still wants to learn.

How cool is that?

The last time I saw her, she attended my session.

I was, not gonna lie, flattered to see her there.

Really, I am always flattered when anyone shows up to a session I am facilitating.

Anyway, my session focused on using technology to increase student accountability.

I have run this session numerous times this year and found it to be pretty successful.

In the session, I focus on using audio recording and picture taking to help hold students accountable when we aren't actually looking right at them.

I also focus on a tool call Padlet. It is a free on-line electronic bulletin board and I think it is fabulous.

(and no, I have no contact with them or reason/incentive to talk up this particular tool)

I end with a brief foray into Google land.

We might talk Docs or Classroom or apps and extensions. It just depends on the audience.

This time, we spent most of our time on Padlet.

No one in this particular group had seen or used it before, a first for me.

Everyone accessed a board I created and posted to it so they could experience the user end.

Then I gave everyone a chance to create an account and start creating Padlets of their own.

This brings me back to the woman I mentioned earlier.

She struggled to keep up, but she loved my session.

I know, because at the end, she told me not so many words.

She stayed behind for a few minutes to ask some clarifying questions and have me show her a couple of specific features of Padlet.

As we finished, she beamed at me.

"No one at my school is going to believe it! I will be the technology expert now!"

For her to be so enthusiastic, persistent, interested, and genuinely excited is such a good thing.

Side effect: it made me feel pretty good too.

And I want to be just like her when I grow up.

See, perspective.

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