This past weekend I was extremely lucky. I got to attend the first Google Apps for Education Ontario Summit.
I have been telling everyone that the Google Summit changed my life, and it is absolutely true. I really feel that I am looking at education and technology in a completely different way than I did before I attended this amazing event. Yes, I learned a lot of cool things about Google Apps and some impressive tricks that I can wow my friends with. But that wasn’t the best thing I took away from the Summit. Not even close.
What I came home with was a deeper understanding of what it means to be a teacher and a student today. And what I have discovered is that it’s okay to not have all of the answers. As a teacher I have a plethora of tools to help me find the answers, and a world-wide network of like-minded teachers, to help me and inspire me, at my finger tips.
And most importantly, it doesn’t matter what technology tools I prefer to use in my classroom, because the fast pace of these innovations is fostering a mindset of testing things out and seeing what works. There will always be new and better things available to me and to my students. But taking that plunge into something new and exploring it together is an authentic learning process that will be repeated over and over in my life and in the lives of my students.
As a teacher, I can lead my students into responsible digital citizenship, by being a responsible, innovative, and inspiring digital citizen myself. And that is now my major career goal.
As part of my goal to learn about and incorporate technology in my teaching of primary students, I set out to complete two major events this year. First, I got really excited about the first Google Apps for Education Ontario Summit. Subsequently, I made the commitment and signed up for the Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction, Part 1 AQ course.
I was back and forth on doing the AQ, because I have always been pretty comfortable with technology, but it really became more about improving my learning overall and cultivating a learning community for myself.
In our very first class we created a 6 word story by finding an image about learning or teaching online and using Pixlr to add words to the image. We could only use 6 words, to sum up our ideas. I like this idea, and will definitely be trying it with my students. I am attaching the story I made here, as a focus of the blog, and to hopefully get the ball rolling.