My individual and team goals for this year revolve around building relationships (communication), access, research, and exploration.
My team and I will utilize technology to help empower our colleagues to share and communicate their ideas, reflections, and, well, anything. We hope to meet with building principals to communicate our shared desire to help and support best instructional practice – especially as it concerns technology and 21st Century integration. We will establish a presence outside of our district by involving ourselves in conferences, edcamps, and social media groups to share best practices across district boundaries.
Building off of a focus on developing and building strong relationships with our colleagues and leaders, we plan to identify and encourage teachers and administrators who best engage students, reflect on their practices, and share ideas. Not only are we looking to reach out to and acknowledge these gifted educators – we hope to network with them to inspire other educators to shift their teaching (and therefore their students’ learning) to one centered around creation, collaboration, problem solving, communication, reflection, and feedback. We also plan to work and plan to continue their pattern of creative (and vulnerable) ways to meet our students’ needs.
Keeping current in educational technology can be a full-time job in and of itself. To keep reliable and competent, we will – through the use of collaborative technologies – observe and collect data from various building projects to learn and modify with future projects and programs. By actively monitoring social media outlets and blogs we can keep abreast of new and novel advances in the realm of Educational Technology (i.e., #edtech).
While it won’t probably equate to 20%, we plan to set aside time to pursue related and individual interests that will eventually impact our work as Instructional Technology Coordinators. This idea will provide focused times to create and may yield innovative ways to approach and solve complex, systematic problems and may prove, therefore, be important to growth and competency (individual and departmental).
Overlapping with several of the above, we will actively participate and support work in projects that may be best described as “district-wide” projects. Our work, for example, on our district’s Visions 2025 plan and on an idea to create and market forms of professional development (in conjunction with the online PD sector) may help lead impactful change to all schools, district-wide.
In short, I hope my legacy is one where I have met and connected with school leaders, teachers, and students in such ways that they feel supported, empowered, and encouraged in their quests to learn and improve their crafts. I hope that I look back and realize that I have contributed much to my team’s efforts and that I have proven myself a valuable addition to the team. I hope my work this year will help teachers open their eyes to the creative nature of education, the importance of sincere reflection, and to the value of no longer viewing themselves as keepers of knowledge, but rather as guides or facilitators to their students’ learning and educational needs.
For, as John Dewey said so many years ago: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”