Yesterday I found the “Quotes” Flickr Group that was put together by Dean Shareski, Scott McLeod, Darren Draper, et al. The power of the image to change and inspire is a tool that I need to use more of in my work with teachers. In looking through the offerings and the work of the 11 members of the group on Flickr, you see the passion with which a great majority of us in education act with on a daily basis. That passion, I must admit, has been missing from what I’ve been doing lately. Not to sound trite, but it’s as if I’d lost my mojo, and with it any of the passion I was attacking my work with.
As usual, my wife sat me down and straightened me out. She told me some very basic things:
“If you can’t find someone to buy into your ideas, look somewhere else. They are good ideas, backed by someone who is passionate about what they do.”
From that conversation, I’ve noticed an uptick in both productivity, and focus. The WTF attitude is starting to return, and ideas are beginning to grow legs. I love that woman.
In that light, I found this item from George Siemens to be of significant import in my thinking lately:
The challenge many educators face today in trying to improve learning
is not one of technology or information access. The most significant
need is to begin envisioning a future reflective of the affordances of
technology now broadly available.
The biggest problem we face is not lack of access or technology or filtering, but rather lack of imagination and vision. What can we do with what is available to us? What can our students do? A word I heard at Jim Burke’s englishcompanion Ning site (which if you are interested in helping build community with anyone in your English department, you should visit and invite them to it), is “withitness,” and that what every teacher needs to possess is the drive not to be cool, but to do cool things–things that make your students say something in response. Whether they loved you or hated you, you want them talking about what they did in your room on any given day.
I think we are stuck, at least in my locale, on imagining the same things we’ve always done because we haven’t been brave enough to imagine what it might look like in the future. I, for one, am going to start using my hands and my brain to create this vision.