Posted by: DDrinkwalter | April 12, 2013

Which came first….? Student engagement or staff engagement?

As I work away, be it in the school, or within my social media networks and my professional learning networks, there is a saying that keeps resonating with me; “Which came first; the chicken or the egg?”

Why …? you ask.

Well, as I look around and see people working away in their classrooms, in the library, in the computer labs, in the hallways and in our school office I wonder which comes first, the teacher/staff learning or the student learning around and about technology and its use.

Is it the staff who are engaged in technology themselves who help move students forward in their thinking and use of technology OR is it the students who are engaged in technology themselves who help move staff forward in their thinking and use of technology?

Which came first, student engagement or staff engagement? Does it matter which came first?

At this point I would be one to suggest it could matter which came first. My experience, belief and understanding would lead me to think that if students are the leaders in the use of technology then we may be in a better place to develop an opportunity to create shared learning and understanding. If we combine student knowledge, experience and learning coupled with teacher knowledge, skill and willingness to enter the globalization of education we can support and honour student voice and authentic learning. If teachers are the leaders in the use of technology then it may have a greater chance to be more limited in its use as finding the app of the day to help cover the curriculum maybe more of the focus, by no fault of the teacher. Teachers have a job, duty and obligation, to cover the curriculum and the technology of today, and its many facets, is a new tool with which this curriculum centered approach can be accomplished.

Do staff who move technology into their lives more, be it by choice or by job requirement help move others into technology learning and use, or do our students who are so constantly wired engage and ignite our staff in ways in which we can use technology to enhance our learning, creativity, collaboration, communication and understanding in this our 21st century.

As I continue to surf, connect, learn, question, act, react, interact via Twitter, my staff, my students, parents, and professional learning networks, I will continue to look at ways to navigate education practices for today through the support of technology. Continued review of practices, learning and belief systems so that my work in education continues to develop, with students being at the center of my focus. We all need to do the best we can with the information that we have at our fingertips today. I know I have so much work to do:).

Posted by: DDrinkwalter | March 31, 2013

New Beginnings

Being very new to social media and not very new to education I find myself wondering and looking at the time of year, and seeing a very strong parallel between the new beginnings of Spring and my learning.

Spring has sprung and with it comes many new beginnings, hope, new life, changes in surroundings. The parallel you ask?

My learning has a new beginning. With the onset and intentional use of social media in the past month I have learned from readings and postings by such leadership gurus as George Couros, Seth Godin, Tony Wagner, Joe Mazza, Bonnie Stewart, Will Richardson, and Alec Couros, to name a few. I have jumped into some #etmooc discussions/sessions and used Blackboard Collaborate to participate with educational professionals across the globe! I have found new friends, new thinking, new ideas and expanding and/or deepening my thoughts on education. How to ensure our students have the best learning opportunities possible for the “new” connected world in which they are in?

How can I? and How do I? …. enhance student and teacher-communication, collaboration, creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking in such a way that it honours learning for all?

I contInue to look forward to expanding my networks, learning, and leadership skills through the development of this, my blog, as suggested, supported and encouraged by many in my new social media network. As I continue to learn and navigate my way through today’s “new” connected world it is my vision, goal, and desire to continue to do my “personal best” to provide a supportive educational approach that will honour, support, nurture and develop our students talents and skills for today’s world.

Thank you to all my network friends, critical professional principal learning friends, staff, and students who question, probe and support my thoughts and new learnings.

Education 2013 is about my learning. Thanks for being a part of this journey with me.