Firstly, I’d like to thank Stephen Ransom for pointing me to this brilliant video in a recent blog post. It is truly one of the most inspiring, uplifting and downright fun presentations I have seen in a very long time. Presented by cutting edge math teacher Dan Meyer, it’s one of those few talks you hope will go on and on, rather than the type that leaves you checking your watch every few minutes.
Do yourself a huge favour and put aside 45 wonderful minutes and I guarantee you will come away a better educator and a more inquisitive individual!
The main theme for Dan’s talk revolves around the concept of an EdTech Mission Statement. This is a concept that often gets glossed over in the hype of hot new tools and chart topping apps. What is the pedagogical goal we want to achieve? How can technology help us progress towards that goal? For Dan, technology helps him capture, share and resolve perplexity… The goals of his EdTech mission statement.
RSS Reader, Social Bookmarking is part of my EdTech mission statement. I haven’t included what the name of the tools I use is, I don’t care. Google Reader shutdown, some of you guys know, it was a tragic moment, moment of silence there. Then we’re back and we find another tool to get the job done, because the mission statement matters not the tool itself.
But these tools do not do the work for him. They do however help. They allow him to be more efficient with his time. They enable him to capture, store and share ideas and concepts with ease. In essence, and in his own words, they allow him to utilise his finite resources as best as possible.
The more I have been a math teacher, math teacher, math teacher. The harder it is for me to see the world as a perplexing place like my students do. It takes discipline and sadly work for me to make myself as curious as they are. These are the tools that help me do that.
Sharing perplexity is as much about pedagogy as it is about technology. It’s as much about being a good teacher as it is about knowing where the latest tools are, the best apps and all of that.
The other area Dan encourages educators to explore and grow is via an online output. Be it blogging, tweeting or any other form of discussion, the intense amount of personal and professional growth that comes from sharing thoughts and debating ideas is unparalleled.
I feel like as a new teacher I grew two years of growth as a teacher for every one year I was in the classroom. The difference was my online professional development and all the kind veteran educators who came by to critique me and offer suggestions. That number is totally made up but the feeling is sincere. The feeling is totally sincere. I encourage you to get an online output.
What is your EdTech mission statement? What are the key goals that technology helps you achieve with your students? Keep it short and leave your statement in the comments below.
Feature image Lecturer icon designed by Lissette Arias for The Noun Project.