There is nothing that will ever replace a great teacher. Nothing. A master teacher understands how to connect with students and tap into their passions and create a love of learning.
However, when a great teacher can effectively use technology to help a student explore, connect, and create, this is what will take them, their students, and our schools to the next level. The intersection where the deep understanding of learning meets the understanding of how to leverage technology to give our students opportunities to explore and become both collaborative yet independent in their learning, is where transformation in schools can really occur.
To do this though, we must immerse ourselves in this process. I was reminded of this when I was perusing through Will Richardson’s presentation to the College of Alberta School Superintendents, and was reminded of the journey of Shelly Wright. Shelly openly shared her transformation in her blog over the last year, and I know many, myself included, loved watching the process:
I realize that over the past 10 months I’ve become a completely different person than who I was a year ago…A year ago, I wasn’t on Twitter. Now my PLN is invaluable. If every other form of PD was taken away from me, I would continue to grow and learn because of the people and resources at my finger tips on Twitter.A year ago, I didn’t really blog. Now it’s part of who I am. It’s how I actively try to make sense of the world. And it has connected me to people who challenge my thinking and help me to be a better teacher.
The year has started for many educators, and about to start for others. Throwing ourselves into this type of collaborative, yet self-directed learning can be a transformative process for not only professional selves, but in my own development and for many I have encountered, there is renewed passion for the profession and learning at a very deep, personal level.
How many will hit that intersection this year?