Recently I read Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator (affiliate link) by Dave Burgess. The parts of TLAP which stuck for me, which have me thinking about the future of the #EdTech movement, was when I identified my passions in different categories.
I have been most excited to teach: Space History (just watch Apollo 13 with me), the American Civil War, and the American Revolutionary War. That is so interesting to me since I taught American history only to 4th and 5th graders and when I taught a middle grades social studies class I taught Romans/Greeks – Eastern Hemisphere. This makes me smile when I realize I loved Earth Science best of the sciences, most likely because I was always working to get to the Space units at the end of my years.
I am professionally ignited by topics such as:
Technology as a Literacy, which I firmly believe it should run it’s course and we are all eventually literate in technology. Then, as students are introduced to age appropriate technologies those surrounding them are confident in assisting those students make reasonable decisions.
Title I/Low Socio-Economic Status (SES) Achievement Gap and helping overcome persistent challenges with this group. It isn’t an out that Jesus told us the poor will always be with us. When we know that poverty creates barriers to learning then we need to do something about it. I am interested in what techniques overcome predictable issues and how to replicate those techniques, especially as it relates to technology.
Equity in Student Access to Technology, intentional intervention on the part of schools/districts/states is needed to overcome the funding issues which perpetuate the established gaps in technology access. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs exacerbate the issue and shrug off the issue. Real, intentional investment needs to be established to ensure this is never again an issue in public education in our country.
Teacher Leadership, Advocacy, Ownership of Learning, since the introduction of the testing culture teachers entering the workforce are increasingly divorced from the control of their development as an educator. All teachers should recognize themselves and push to develop themselves in the most authentic directions. Instead, if left to the testing culture, every teacher becomes a Drill and Kill Taskmaster. No thank you, If education is to survive we need to be our authentic selves, teaching authentic topics to students who are encouraged to be the best them they can be.
It certainly helped me to separate content and personal passions from my professional passions. I feel like these are long-term, sustaining themes for my career; I love having that clarity!
I am personally passionate about:
Reading, everyone everywhere should be reading all the time. How can I promote literacy? How can I assure my own children and relatives’ children are already reading before school? When can I sneak in some reading?
Entrepreneurship, I have moved between states to support my husband’s entrepreneurial efforts and I would do it again. I am constantly finding the limits of what I can accomplish on the side and pushing towards those. I follow trends in #EdTech and am always excited about the next big thing and cannot wait until it is my turn to be a part of that.
Botany, I love flowers and trees. I always have and I always will. I love to use Dichotomous keys to identify trees. I love growing flowers. Happy place, happy place.
English History, I am drawn to the history of England. I am not a current day fan of the royals, but love learning about their ancestors. I am interested in reading about all the battles. And I must get to Hadrian’s Wall before I die.
What if at the end of this ed tech movement, because it will end as devices become ubiquitous and all students eventually become connected, we find some of us had a Personal Passion for devices and others had a Professional Passion? One would not know until the goals of equity had been achieved which passion one was following, but all at once many educators might drop off the #EdTech bandwagon.
I loved the entire read of this book, but I am struck with what feels like confusion about why some of us are pushing for #EdTech in education right now. I hope no one is too surprised when #EdTech access is no longer an issue where our movement stands.
Read it for yourself and let me know what you think!