“WOW!”I thought to myself as I read a post by AlwaysPrepped “7 habits of highly effective teachers who use technology.” this is all so very true! Re-fashioned into a sleek infograph by Mark Bates, the seven steps listed by AlwaysPrepped really does reflect a process I’ve unconsciously worked through.
When my learning journey began nearly three years ago, I never imagined that a new me with newly adopted habits would be born. The process of change and of adopting new routines seems to have happened ever so slowly. I can still feel the excitement that coursed through me when in May 2010 I found words of advice left by Tania Sheko, a Melbourne educator who I’ve grown to admire as she empowers those around her with confidence to adopt and utilize new technology, on my two month old blog:
further down the track you will have adopted lots of these new things as a second skin.”
I remember so well that feeling of being totally overwhelmed as I embarked on an exploration of Web 2.0 technology and all that was out there in the Blogosphere and Twittersphere. I remember thinking as I read Tania’s words that I’d probably never get to the stage of feeling so confidant that new skills would feel like a “second skin” to me!
But here I am, further down the track than I was then. I have indeed “become” some of those features noted in this post and infograph.
- They always start with why: With each new discovery, I always find myself considering how this technology could be used by myself or other teachers. Could it be valuable for me as a curation tool, as a time saver, or as a presentation tool? How could teachers use it to enhance their subject delivery? How could students integrate it into their research or completed assignments?
- They are malleable and can easily adapt: Once I got a hold of my head and stopped it spinning uncontrollably from that feeling of being totally overwhelmed, I realized and accepted that there was no way I would become a master of all that was out there in cyberspace. In other words, I was really accepting the big picture which includes the fact that new tools are constantly developed, changed and adapted into new releases or are superseded by other better tools.
- They embrace change: I used to hate change. Now I welcome it. Knowing that the world in which I live constantly evolves fills me with excitement. I feel motivated to further explore the unknown and to check how I can incorporate it into my day-to-day personal and professional life.
- They share, share and then share some more: The ease with which we are able to share, to link arms and to collaborate together is fantastic! Knowing that I am just one of many who is keen to share knowledge and experience, is so very exciting. Who would have thought that young teachers, trainee teachers and world experts could all work and learn from and with each other.
- They think win-win-win-win: In my role as a Teacher Librarian, I find that I am constantly exploring the benefits of various tools and programs for teachers and students. I regularly share whatever successes and pursuits we have with our extended school community via articles in school newsletters and on our library blog. And I never shy away from sharing the fruits of our endeavours with our enthusiastic principal and his school administration.
- They are extremely thorough and think two steps ahead: I guess thinking two steps ahead really has become part and parcel of my very being. As a family person, I’ve been doing this from day one! As a Teacher Librarian, I seem to have a constant stream of suggestions of how this and that tool can be incorporated into a teacher’s repertoire for everyone’s benefit.
- They actively care: I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve said how lucky I am to get paid for doing something I feel so passionate about! And I do have to pinch myself to think that it is my “job” that has opened doors I never knew existed. Yes – I do get very excited when I get the opportunity to share my discoveries with others. I actually am hanging out to be employed as a presenter – either virtually or in person – just so I can inspire others to jump onto the amazing learning journey that’s just waiting to be discovered!
No doubt my words will resonate with others who started their learning journey around the time I did. It’s a new world for us all. A challenging and exciting one. Best of all is that feeling of knowing that the path upon which we travel today is indeed never ending. Lifelong learning is very, very exciting!
And as I acknowledge the growth I’ve personally made and the growth that still awaits me, I ponder that cute little character, my avatar, which I created back in April 2010. Created with some trepidation, I was amazed a year on that my avatar really did reflect my personality. I grew to kind of like the smiley, happy little character. When other ‘newbies’ like me started to replace their avatars with their photos, I retained mine, not because I was shy to show my face, but because I had really grown very fond of my alter ego! But today, I realize that now is the right time for me to shed my little avatar and ‘come out’ as the real me. Perhaps as Tania suggested back then, my “second skin” has finally started to attach itself to me more firmly!
So with a little sadness ….. I bid farewell to that smiley, happy little avatar that has held my hand for so long …..
and welcome the real me saying “Hello world!”