Technology Conferences are always exciting - you go in with a great expectation and huge anticipation for learning, seeing, and hearing something that will inspire you back at your desk. This time, though, things were a little bit different... As a presenter, I was in the role to provide that inspiration to others. Did I do just that? I sure hope so. I received a lot of kind words and many thanks for my session titled "Introduction to Wikis" using PBWorks.
So, what was my main goal in presenting the idea of wikis into a regular classroom curriculum? Simple. It gives the students a 21st century method for presenting the same work they always have. The key here... teachers must realize that 21st century skills learning doesn't necessarily mean changing the curriculum... it just means taking a second look at the delivery method - as a teacher and as a student. Where can you start? Tackle the two most common assignments most teachers give... Writing Prompts and Research Projects. Both make excellent use of the wiki and collaborative learning environment.
Whether presenting away from home, or simply doing the day-to-day workshops here and there, inspiration is my top priority. I want to inspire teachers on several levels.
I want to...
- Inspire them to be open-minded in their quest for achieving successful 21st century learning environments in their classrooms;
- Inspire them to be gutsy and try new things - being oh so mindful that the new things they try aren't so "new" to the students! We just need to shape what they already use into our educational molds and purposes!
- Inspire them to believe in themselves. It does not matter how long you've been a teacher... learning is the name of the game in your 1st year and in your 30th year.
- Inspire them to see the bigger picture... yes, the little details matter during the day when integrating technology into the projects, one class project at a time - but better still - the big pictures makes way for overall and increased technological skill development by the end of the academic year
Did I enjoy presenting? For certain. I only hope that those folks who came into my session left with the same passion I came in with.
Want to check out the technology conference format? Take a look.