One of the challenging things that comes with being an educator, regardless of your role, is that you truly never know just how much of an impact you make. I think it is important to celebrate the wins, big or small, because through the years they add up. So often we get caught up in the daily grind, checking things off the to-do list and get distracted from the big picture. The why. It’s there, but it’s often hanging in the background. Sometimes it needs to be brought back front and center. While everyone’s why is different, most likely if you are in the education profession, your why involves some aspect of making a positive impact on others.
Recently a notification that came through my Twitter account that made me say “Well, how about that?!” I feel that this deserved more than that reaction alone. A post that allows me to reflect on this seemed more fitting. Below is the message:
When I started as a Teacher on Special Assignment as a District Technology Integrator back in 2014, I had to work to carve a path of how I hoped technology would be used in meaningful ways. The ISTE Student Standards really helped guide me in this learning. Putting these into practice and making them visible to educators I support and students in our school community helps me acheive my why. Looking at a recent ISTE poster, this experience hit on so many of these, for both sides of this virtual connection.
It turns out that this Skype connection back in 2017 was one of my first virtual connections with an expert in the field. Touring the Canadian Museum for Human Rights with a classroom full of students and getting to hear stories, ask questions, reflect and connect this back to what students were learning about in the classroom was incredibly moving and powerful. This created a ripple effect of good in that it made us want to connect with more people and engage in more virtual field trips. Since then, there have been too many to count. In all of these experiences, we really don’t know the impact that they had on students or on the hosts. The same can be true for any virtual exchange. Even a simple Mystery Skype between two classrooms. What I do know is that these connections matter. Learning with and from one another is a gift. Technology that makes this possible is also a gift. This is all part of my why and I am grateful that Graham from CMHR helped bring that back front and center for me. I had no idea that this was also a new experience for them as well until just the other day.
I guess this is why this simple tweet not only made me say “Well how about that?!” but also gives me the energy, especially coming out of a global pandemic where many of these experiences took a backseat, to push on and use tech for good, to make meaningful connections and to create experiences where the learning experience is powerful for everyone involved. Becuase at the end of the day, at the end of the school year, and even years later, you just never know the ripple effect of good that can come from trying something new. Here’s to trying new things with no expectations other than to just use technology in a meaningul way and put some good back into the world!
Lastly, is anyone else blown away by this portion of CMHR’s website?
Coming off of a spectacular Student Voice Day with the topic of “I stand for…” there are some wonderful resources here. Check out their teacher guide too.