Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~ John Dewey

Author

Jeff Utecht

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This blog post is also released as a podcast on Shifting Our Schools subscribe to get even more insight

Also, on the drive today I was reflecting on another conversation I continue to have with schools, technology directors, school leaders, and educators. That is the idea of student monitoring software. You know…the software that allows teachers to see what students are working on in real-time. Over the years this technology has gone from allowing teachers to see what students were doing on their devices to giving teachers full control to close tabs that students might have open, to see what applications they have on their devices and even lock their screens so they can’t cheat while taking an online test or quiz. 

Now…for years I have had major issues with this software. I understand that many districts need it to comply with state and or federal laws. Yes….if you are in a public school, it is a law that you track students…and employees for that matter. In fact, most businesses I talk to track in some way what their employees do on a business issue or school-issued device. It just makes sense. I get that. 

So first off…let’s tell students that. Let’s tell students we are recording every website you visit every click that you make on your device not because we don’t trust you, but because that’s what businesses do. They track me too. Do students know that? Do students know this isn’t a trust thing…it’s a law thing. I believe it’s important for students to know that….and for students to know this is relevant information for when they are out of school as well. This is transferable knowledge to the workplace. Understand…that if you are on a device owned by a company or cooperation everything you do on that device is probably being tracked. It’s well worth the time to have this conversation with students. 

Next up….educators please stop using this software as a way to punish students. I call it playing whack-a-mole because that’s what it reminds me. Today for example as my training was starting I had three teachers who had this software open on their devices watching their students work on an assignment in their classroom. If a student went off task, aka away from the screen the teacher thought they should be on,…they would just close the tab. No conversation, no follow up, just WHACK! Get back to work WHACK stop going there WHACK! That’s not what you are supposed to be doing. 

Different analysts mentioned further objective facts, which appeared to line up with Fox’s. For instance, Hinds (1987) and Scollon and Scollon (1995) watched postponed presentation of direction in the writings delivered by East Asian authors. On account of investigations of Korean writing specifically, Eggington (1987) depicted customary examples of Korean writing as non-straight, comprising of starting, advancement, alter of course, and closure. Hinds (1987) offered a paired dependent on peruser versus essayist duty. As indicated by Hinds, East Asian writing can be described as peruser dependable composition, instead of author mindful exposition, in that the onus of understanding falls on the peruser, and dark and obscure styles of writing are regularly expected of insightful writing. This is interestingly with Anglo-American writing, he declared, on the grounds that overwhelming accentuation is set on journalists to guarantee that their desultory decisions add to encouraging perusers’ cognizance in Anglo-American writing. It is enticing to accept, in view of Fox’s discerning remarks and resulting insightful exchange, just as the models about Japanese’ danraku’ and the Chinese expository style portrayed over, that components, for example, an absence of clear association and certainty describe commonplace scholastic writing shows in Asia, students even can find more info from australiaessays.info about all the writing traditions in the Asia. In any case, Zong and Li (1998) brought up that the characteristics maintained in Anglo-American writing are called for in many kinds of explanatory writing in China. Truth be told, they accept this is certifiably not another, post-present day pattern as they follow the root to Kui’s 1197 content The Rules of Writing, which is regularly viewed as the principal old style work of Chinese talk. Zong and Li outline Kui’s expository standards as clearness, straightforwardness, and utilization of normal language. Kirkpatrick (2002), in the wake of checking on the guidance given in college reading material on Chinese writing and the sorts of activities students may experience in their national college selection tests, found that such course books educate writers to utilize correct and clear language in argumentations. Kirkpatrick (2004) is persuaded that “it is difficult to presume that Chinese students will go to the undertaking of writing in English impeded by their past learning experience”

Playing whack-a-mole is not a classroom management strategy. Playing whack-a-mole does not change behavior, it does not support learning, it is not a transferable skill. It’s nothing more than a method to say “I don’t trust you!” 

A teacher who plays whack-a-mole needs classroom management strategies to help them in their connected classroom. Every time I see this happening in my trainings or hear teachers talking about how great it is to have this software I can’t help but cringe for those students. 

Put yourself in the student’s shoes…..pretend you’re a 7th graders for a second. What’s going through your mind? How does this behavior break trust and relationship building in your classroom? 

Now…there is another way to use this software, and that is to build relationships with students, to start conversations, to help them with time management…that we don’t teach but somehow just expect students to know how to do. 

In the end, I understand why we have this software. I understand it’s needed and I want schools and educators to protect themselves. But I want this software to come with a caution sticker. 

CAUTION: This software is not a classroom management strategy

Photo Credit: Needpix

As many of you know I recently wrote a peer-reviewed paper with Doreen Keller. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it to you as it’s the foundation, in my mind, how we need to think in a connected world. 

Teaching in a 1:1 classroom is not about the technology or the tools but rather a mind shift that must occur if we’re going to truly use the power of the world’s information in the hands of students. That’s really what this is about. Once we give every student a device we have to rethink a lot of what we do in the classroom and what knowledge acquisition can and should look like. 

Today I’d like to reflect and share my thoughts on the 2nd Connectivism principle of learning that states:

Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources. 

I want you to stop and reflect for a second. If you have something around your house that you need to fix. Let’s say the dishwasher is making a noise and instead of calling a plumber right away you decide to try and figure out what’s causing the noise and how to fix it. 

Now…right there we have very distinct learning opportunities. 

1. We must first figure out what the problem is. We call this being a problem finder. 

2. Once we have located the problem we must then learn and try and fix it. 

Both of these are learning opportunities and crazy enough just how we live in today’s world. 

So I’m going to guess you’re going to head to Google and type in GE Dishwasher Model Number 7547 is making a thumping noise when running

You are instantly given a results page that in the crazy world we live is probably has a title of a webpage or a video with that exact phrase!

This is the moment that this principle takes hold. You must now connect nodes of information from different sources to learn something new. You might read a blog post, watch a video or two and all along you are learning. You learn something from this video that you re-read on this blog and then is restated again in another video. You’re watching videos taking the pieces that apply to you and ignoring the pieces that don’t.  You are learning by connecting all this information from different sources and applying it RIGHT NOW to your situation. 

Then when you finally believe you know what the issue is you’re already on your way to solving the problem. You want and read some more, you re-watch some videos, try a few more sources, probably do a new google search that is GE Dishwasher Model Number 7547 upper arm hitting silverware tray. You get more sources of information, some of them the same and some new and you learn more. 

Then you do! Right there at the moment, you do the thing you just learned about. You apply your new learning instantly to a situation and you solve it. 

Then you step back…you look at your work and you’re so excited you run and tell your spouse “Honey! I fixed the dishwasher” he or she gives you a “Great Job” and you feel good about your accomplishment. 

Now….getting the “Great Job” is you getting an A on your assignment. However, that is not where the learning occurred. You get an A on your final project because that’s all your spouse saw. That’s all they wanted and how they are going to assess you. Does the dishwasher not make a noise anymore. 

Now showing results is part of the grade for sure…but if we’re really interested in assessing learning the final project is not where the learning happened. The learning happened in the doing. Doing research, connecting information sources, trying something out, trying again, learning, watching more videos, reading more websites, and doing. That’s where the learning occurred. 

So I ask you: 

Do you assess just the presentation or the creation of the presentation? 

Do you assess the final writing or the rough draft and edits along the way? 

Do you assess the final answer or the steps to solving the equation?

How do you make sure that you are assessing the learning not the product of that learning? 

Again projects are great….they are the results of the creative process and they must factor into the overall result however if we are REALLY interested in assessing learning…that does not happen in the product. It happens in the process of creating the product. 

It happens in the selection of what information to read/watch

It happens in the trial and error of creation

It happens in the re-watching and re-learning of a new skill

It happens in making the connections between a video that someone else made and the actual problem I have in front of me and trying to determine are they the same problem.

This is a great time of year to reflect on how often are you assessing learning vs the product of learning. How might you have to rethink your lesson/unit/approach so that you can gather, or collect something that shows learning occurring in the moment? What might that look like for you? 

If you have great strategies or ways that you gather evidence of learning happening in the process, not the product would you mind sharing those with all of us in the comments below?

Last Saturday we had a thunderstorm move through Seattle…we don’t get them very often around here so a storm with over 2200 lightning strikes is pretty crazy and awesome….but more than that…it was Mother Natures way of calling in Fall. Since then the temp as barley hit 70 degrees if we’re lucky and the low slow clouds with off and on rain tell us that Fall is here. That and the squirrels…there are squirrels everywhere all of a sudden…oye.

Anyway, this week I want to thank Katy McKee for sharing an article with me titled What is engagement in a learning experience?

It was put out by GoGuardian a software company that helps filter and monitor student devices. I know school districts that use it and it is a product I have recommended in the past to schools that I’m supporting. 

However, in this case, I’m interested in this article and research these authors did. I’ve linked the article in the show notes and it’s well worth 10 minutes of your time. Especially if you are a coach like Katy or in an administrative position. 

I love how they try and define “engagement” and what it really comes down to is we know it when we see it and we hear it from our students. 

In trainings we continue talking about student engagement in school with technology. Of course, technology isn’t going to do it but it is a huge part of the recipe for this generation. What we know about this generation and engagement. 

1:  It MUST be meaningful to my life today. 

Question to ask yourself: Can I frame today’s lesson/learning in a way that students can relate to it in their own lives? 

2.  It MUST be purposeful. 

Question to ask yourself: How do I frame today’s lesson/learning to be purposeful to students?

3.  It MUST be engaging (fun). 

Question to ask yourself: Do I think this activity is fun?

I find that if teachers can answer those three questions about any lesson then the lesson will be engaging. I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to teachers and asked them “Do you think doing this worksheet is fun?” and they say “No, but…….” and then comes the “I have to do it” or “they must learn it” or …….

I love that the research they did shows this as well….if you the teacher know this is not an engaging activity, if it doesn’t really have purpose in their lives and it’s not fun….then it’s not engaging and YES…this means you the teacher are going to have to rework, rethink, and recreate learning activities that meet these three questions. 

It all starts with the questions we are asking students. Are we asking big essential questions that allow them to dig in? Questions we maybe could never ask before because we didn’t have access to the information to find an answer…and now we do. 

Here’s something you can do to start gathering data yourself. As you are talking with students through the day ask them these three questions. 

– What did you learn today that you can see applies to life outside of school?

– Why do you think you need to learn this?

– What was the best/most fun part of your day? 

You’ll get a feel for engagement by asking students and reflecting on our own teaching. I truly believe we don’t ask students enough at the end of every lesson “How was this today for you?” because more times then not…we know what the answer is going to be. 

Thanks again to Katy for bringing this article to my attention.  

What are your thoughts on engagement? How do you know if your students are actively engaged in learning? I’d love to hear from you and for you to share your thoughts on student engagement in the comments below.

The idea of long-term embedded professional development has always been a passion of mine. In my heart, I truly feel it is the best type of professional development for educators….or anyone for that matter. Time and time again pre-service and beginning teachers will tell you that student teaching was by far the best part of their pre-service teaching program. Why? It is long-term embedded learning with a Master Teacher. Now you can have the same experience online.

If we know this is the best type of professional development, and we have research that shows time and time again that the traditional PD model adopted by schools; the one-off PD day, the yearly conference, the after-school two-hour session, do not lead to improved teaching or changes in student performance. Then why do we keep using them?

This is the reason when school districts contact us at Eduro Learning to help teachers understand the changing nature of teaching and learning in a connected classroom, the first thing we tell them is: It takes time.

There is no quick fix. Research shows that long-term professional development has a positive effect on technology skills of educators and a deeper integration of technology. However, the research also shows that if educators are not held accountable to try out their new skills, reflect on them and share their learning with others, that their technology skills improve but teaching practices stay the same. This is why the embedded model of professional development works. Teachers are doing the things they learn while they are learning them. It’s that embedded approach that allows for the change to happen.

This is why we are seeing the rise of the Micro-Credential. In a report recently released by the American Institutes for Research, we find that Micro-Credentials are showing to be a powerful force in changing professional development for educators. Although the research around Micro-Credentials continues, the report points to five lessons learned so far.

“The lessons learned offered by these three states fall into the following five categories: ƒ

  • Decide on your purpose
  • Start small
  • Provide choice (but not too much)
  • Keep an eye on the score
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate” (AIR, 2017)

As we launch our Micro-Credentials at Eduro Learning on October 15th I wanted to take time to explain and reflect on how we are addressing these lessons as well as other needs we see from our own lessons learned in providing professional development over the years.

[box] Meet the mentors and learn more about the micro-credentials in this webinar. [/box]

Decide on your purpose:

The purpose of our micro-credentials is simple:

To help teachers utilize the technology they have in their classroom to maximize its effect on teaching and learning.

The passion our team has for students and how technology is changing the way they learn, play, socialize and grow-up is second to none. We are all educators whose focus is first and foremost on students and helping teachers to best prepare them for their future and not our past.

Start Small (Stay Focused): 

On October 15th we’re launching three very focused Micro-Credentials.

The 1:1 Teacher: For those that find themselves in a 1:1 environment or might soon find themselves there, and all the pedagogical and classroom changes that occur because of it.

The Connected Classroom: For those who might not be 1:1 and/or want to learn how to connect your class to the world outside. We hear all the time that technology can “break down the walls of the classroom“. This Micro-Credential will have you knocking down the walls and blowing the roof off as well.

The Coach: All of us at Eduro Learning have been in this role. We used technology well in our classrooms, we were seen as a leader in our school so we became the tech support, the coach, the integration specialist. Yet we had no formal training on what it meant to coach adults not teach children. This course is for ALL teachers who find themselves in a coaching role within their school or district. This isn’t about technology, this is about supporting teachers regardless of the subject.

Not only are we starting small, we plan to stay small. Small and focused on what we do best. Focused on supporting teachers through these changes. Depending on what avenue you pursue you can be in a cohort as small as 5 and no larger than 25. Depending on what you need/want your experience to be. That leads us to the next lesson learned from the report.

Provide choice (but not too much):

Not only are we starting small (and staying focused) we are providing four different pathways for educators based on how they learn best.

Honor Level: For those that are independent learners and just want to go on the journey by themselves. There can be peace in going on a journey by yourself. Whether that journey is hiking through the woods or learning online. There are moments when people want to be alone. We’ll be there to guide you if and when you need help, but really this journey it all about you.

Certificate Level: For those that are independent learners but also want company on their journey. You don’t mind or you want to meet others taking the same journey as you. You want a place to reflect, to learn with and from others, and to bounce ideas off of. The Certificate Level also comes with a certificate of completion and we provide an online community manager to help you dig deeper into your own learning as you reflect and implement along the way.

Academy Level: We have limited this cohort to just 15 participants. We know that small class size makes a different and the same applies to online learning. This is for those who learn best when in small groups and have a mentor they can go to with questions. For someone who truly wants to connect with other educators, to be pushed to new professional heights and to have a unique learning experience. At this level and the next level (Premium), we take everything we have learned from the research plus our own learning which is learning needs to be personal. We know we learn best as adults when the new information is personal to me, my classroom, my school, my situation. With a cohort size of 15, your mentor will mentor YOU not the class. They will push YOU, talk with YOU, and be there for YOU.

Premium Level: Take everything above and then put it in a cohort of 5 people. Add a mentor who has years of experience and more importantly passion in their micro-credential (because they designed it) and you get a personalized approach to learning like you have never seen in an online learning environment. Learning is not about the content you can put together, the videos you watch, the articles you read. You get all the benefits of face to face learning without leaving your classroom or home. You get all the benefits of online learning of flexibility of time, place and pace. There is no research to support this model of blended learning but we know it is powerful, so join us and help us create the research!

[box] Hear just how passionate we are about these micro-credentials in this webinar. [/box]

Keep an eye on the score:

There are micro-credentials for educators popping up all over the Internet. We have actually purchased a few in our research of how we wanted to structure ours and I will be honest with you…some of them are not good…..some downright boring, and others you could tell where “hoops” you had to jump through. We can do better than this!

We have partnered with Heritage Institute to provide continuing education quarter credits for our micro-credentials. Their continuing education quarter credits are awarded through Antioch University Seattle at the 500 level. Meaning all our courses that you can get credit for have a syllabus that has been reviewed by a university. When I read that one of the recommendations of a great micro-credential is “keeping an eye on the score”. Understand that our rubrics, assessments, and techniques have been reviewed by a non-profit organization in Heritage Institute and backed by Antioch University Seattle.

Communicate, communicate, communicate:

Of course, this is the foundation of any good teaching. Be it online or face to face. Our mentors and community supporters know this as well. After all, they are all educators themselves. Most of them still in schools, working day to day with students and educators. We know our role is to support the learner and we are here to help whenever you need us.

Learning needs to be personalized (our own lesson learned)

You won’t find this in the research…or I can’t find research that focuses on the personalized learning of educators in professional development. This has been a focus of ours ever since we started our first micro-credential (even though that’s not what it was called at the time) in 2009. Kim and I, along with others, started the Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy (COETAIL). Since 2009 we have graduated over 1000 educators from this micro-credential and have built a community around the learning that happened through this process. Early on we knew that the number one question every educator asks themselves when it comes to PD was:

“How is this going to apply to me and my classroom?”

What has made us successful is that we keep this question front and center in our minds. Every course we create allows for every teacher to take the knowledge they learn and apply it to their setting. Every school, every classroom, every teacher is unique. Just like every student in front of us is unique. We love…no we thrive…on that challenge of helping YOU wherever you are from in the world, whatever technology you have access to, to put it to use in the best way possible for your students. We want you to be successful, we want to learn from you, and we want to help you teach better. We can all be better, we can all keep learning, and we are excited to be here with you. I hope you can join us on this learning journey. We get started on October 15th and if you have any questions please reach out. We’re here for you.

[box] Learn more about Eduro Learning and the micro-credentials in this webinar. [/box]

As part of the #EduroChallenge leading up to our Micro-Credential program launch, we wanted to pay tribute to the most important educators in a student’s lives…their Parents. Nobody has more influence over a child in their lives than their parent/guardian does…and raising a child today is different.

Digital Parenting is No Longer Optional

It’s a hard realization I find for many parents. Understanding there are things your child may be doing online that you don’t know about, or maybe just don’t understand. The following video is from one of the parenting sessions I did last school year for Everett School District.

This was just the first half of the night. At this point, the students left to do other activities and then I got to have some real heart to heart conversations with the parents in the room. We touched on some of the information I reflected on in this blog post, as well as other information on what children are really doing on their devices and why it is so important for schools to work with parents in helping today’s generation understand Digital Literacy.

Kim, Chrissy and I are so passionate about this subject of helping schools, PTAs and parents everywhere, that we created six online courses for parents around the top concerns we have heard from parents and schools throughout the years of doing trainings. I truly believe these courses might be some of the best we have created so far and are so needed today.

Each course focuses in on a different aspect of things to consider when being a digi-parent. We have interviewed parents from around the world to hear what strategies they are employing for their own kids, as well as readings. There is a private Facebook group that goes with the courses where all parents can share stories, ideas, and strategies that work for their families.

If you are a parent or know a parent these courses are for you. If you are a member of the PTA and would like to have us come and do a PTA presentation or work with you…we’d love to. We can even do a blended learning model where a school or PTA can become a member and we will come to your meeting or school once each course to lead discussions, talk through ideas and help support your community.

As part of our Micro-Credential #EduroChallenge and launch. If you purchase any or all of the parenting courses before October 15, 2017 you can save 15% on checkout using the code: TTSparents

The idea of practice, not mastery has been on my mind a lot these past few days…so it’s only fitting that its part of our #EduroChallenge. I first started really reflecting on this idea of practice, not mastery a few years ago when I started doing yoga. My wife and I had a deal. I would try it five times and after five times if I didn’t like it, I could quit. Well, after the fifth time I just kept going and the more I went the stronger I got, the more flexible I got and the better I felt. I’m now to the point that I can tell when I have not been doing yoga. My body lets me know.

What I love about yoga is it’s called your “Yoga Practice”. There is no mastery in yoga everyone in the room is practicing, getting better, pushing themselves and their bodies in ways that fill right to them that day and in that moment. I’m never going to master the perfect downward dog or crow…..but each day I practice I get a little better, a little stronger. Some days are harder than others, but you have to practice if you want to get better.

One thing I think we need to get better at is talking to students about practice and the importance of continuing to practice. We all look at our heroes and wish we could be like them. They make their craft, whether it be cooking, baseball, soccer, racing, football, etc look so easy. When we watch our heroes in action we get to watch hours upon hours of practice. None of them became the best at what they were over night…what you don’t see when you watch TV or a sporting event, are the hours of practice it took to get there.

I’ll often have people ask me how I went from classroom teacher to consultant to edupreneur. The answer…practice. I forget sometimes how long I have been doing this. Over 1000 blog posts here, over 100 podcasts there. A company here, here and here, and countless conversations, video chats, and trying stuff out in the classroom. I have been practicing this since 2000 and I’m still practicing it today. We call it the “Teaching Practice“. That’s what teaching should be…..we’re never going to master it. We’re always looking for new ways of reaching that child, or that child or trying this new strategy out. That’s what excites me the most about the Eduro Learning Micro-Credentials we’re launching. I get to help teacher practice, practice with them, and be a part of the journey.

My wife and god-daughter running along the Seattle waterfront

This all hit me again earlier this week when I was running. I’m always practicing when I run. I’m focused on my form, on the way my feet land. I know the only way I’m going to keep up with my wife (who out ran me the other day by a minute a mile) is by having better form. According to RunKeeper which I use to track my runs. I have logged 506 runs since I started using the app in 2008. That sounds like a lot of practice and it is. That is why us going for a 3-mile run is a short run, and a 6 mile is standard. That didn’t happen over night. I still remember thinking a mile was a long way, then two miles. Now running 3 miles is just what I do and running 6 is hard…but totally doable.

How do we instill the mindset in students that life is about practice, not mastery? That learning is about practicing and that practice will lead you to know more and practice more. How do we get to a place that practice means do, not try? Practice is what we do, not try to do.

There is nothing better to practice FAIL (First Attempt In Learning) then buying a house. Just about a year ago my wife and I moved into a new home here in Seattle. It was built in 1927 and well….it was built in 1927. It’s been a project, to say the least, both inside and out. Below are pictures from a first learning for me. The first picture is of the hot tub deck that was in the back yard when we moved in. I removed the decking and then raised it all up to one level to make it a functioning deck. The added bonus was reusing all the wood and decking to do it. The only thing we purchased for the deck was new railing and new screws. Building a deck from scratch is one thing, having to repurpose a deck from materials you have was a the first attempt for me. The second picture shows the outcome of the deck with the two wrap-around planter boxes that use to be stairs.

Learning something new like this takes time. The process I went through followed the engineering design cycle very closely. I found myself often reflecting on the work and the process and how it applied to what we want to see students doing in school. Authentic Purposeful Work (APLE: See Kim’s post and resources here). The learning wasn’t easy, there were failures along the way and a ton of learning that I applied to the next project…the upper deck.

How do we help students to understand that your First Attempt In Learning is that just that…an attempt….and from there you learn, grow, and attempt again. How do we change grading systems to allow attempts at learning instead of mastery of learning? Big questions that we need to start asking if we want to truly embrace FAIL in our schools.

Day 3 of the #EduroChallenge is about teams and it’s something I’m personally very passionate about. Not only because we at Eduro Learning are a virtual team. We have no office space, yet we meet and work together all the time.

In 2009 I set up a camera to UStream our COETAIL session live from Bangkok as we had two virtual participants

In my opening keynote this year to educators I talk about that collaboration means in 2017 and beyond. We’ve always wanted students to be good team members, to learn to collaborate. However, in 2017 we need to make sure we’re also teaching students how to collaborate across time and space. That is a skill that is highly sought after in companies today. When are we creating learning experiences for students to collaborate across time and space?

I have a friend who works for Amazon (everyone in Seattle has a friend that works for Amazon). He is based in Luxembourg because it’s more central to the two teams he manages. On in Seattle, the other in Bangalore, India.

A survey by Gallup in 2015 found that 37% of American’s telecommute to work. I wasn’t able to find research newer than that but the trend is definitely heading upwards to 50%. If half the students in our classrooms need to know how to work in virtual teams, when are we giving them the opportunity to practice and understand how to communicate in that form, respectfully and productively.

Do you have stories about virtual teams? How do you help students learn to collaborate across time and space?

The Day 2 #EduroChallenge as we start school is all about getting excited about learning. There are moments when I’m not excited about learning until I’m in the learning process…and then once that happens I’m all in. Take learning how to ski for example. I didn’t want to learn to ski. I mean I wanted to ski but I didn’t want to have to go through the learning process. But once I was on the hill and learning I was all in.

Sometimes the “Getting Excited” part doesn’t come at the beginning of the journey. Some times you have to be in the journey in order to be excited. The video above is just a little something I made a couple years ago skiing while I was learning how to use my Go Pro camera. Now that was exciting…..for me…not so much for my wife. 🙂

When we say “excited about learning” when is that moment for you when something challenging becomes something exciting?

Sometimes we need a little nudge to do the things we know are good for us. Like blogging…I know it’s good for me, I always mean to do it, but doing it…that’s the hard part. I think that’s in part why at Eduro Learning we decided to do a 21-day challenge to start the school year off with. Not only to challenge others, but ourselves to be more reflective as this new school year gets under way here in America. So now that this is my job it means I’ll actually make time for it. You can join us for the challenge on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by using the hashtag #edurochallenge.

Teachers from Marysville School District pitching their unit ideas

It is actually the day before school starts for most students here in the Seattle area. My wife, a school counselor, is back today preparing for her 15th year as a School Counselor. This first #EduroChallenge is about our students and as the school year gets under way I think of my students as well. My students are a bit older, then the K-5 students my wife will have. She’ll be the counselor for roughly 520 students, while I’ll in some way get to impact the lives of 800 educators with our work in Marysville and Everett School Districts and that doesn’t count the number of educators who will join me for a workshop in Chelan, Washington or those that I will have the pleasure to learn with during our 1:1 Micro-Credential this year. Then there are the teachers in Auburn’s ATLA program (roughly 90) and Enumclaw’s Connected Classroom Cohorts (roughly 30). You get the picture….there are a lot of students to think about this school year.

As my wife talks about all the things she hopes to accomplish this year with her students I can’t help but think of all the things we have been working hard to put in place to help our students as well. Students come in all ages…and it just so happens that I have chosen to work with those that work with kids. So my #edurochallenge is to remind myself that when we use the word “students” we mean all of those we teach, regardless of age.

What’s your reflection on students as the school year begins?