I just returned from the annual Computer Using Educators (#CUE15) conference in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. It is 3 jam packed days of amazing and informative sessions, 3 incredible and inspiring keynotes, connecting and networking with outstanding educators, and exploring new ideas. It can be quite overwhelming. Here’s a glimpse of what transpired.
This was my third CUE conference. When I attended #CUE13, I felt so out of my league. Teachers were developing their skills to integrate technology to enhance education and engage their students in meaningful ways. I was surrounded by educators who were fascinating, innovative, risk takers. How could so many adults be so welcoming of risk? They must have support, a safety net of some sort, but many people I talked with were the only, or one of the few, educators at their school or district trying these innovative techniques. Where was their safety net? Time and time again the answer came back…Twitter!
I was an utter skeptic when it came to Twitter. While I had a Facebook profile, I had done all I could to lock it down to the chosen few, my family and close friends. Now so many educators were telling me to send out tweets to the world?!?! But everyone can find out about me and see what I say!?!? The response was “EXACTLY!”. All those people from other schools, districts, counties, states who were isolated could find supporters and colleagues with whom to collaborate. Twitter is the ultimate tool for educators to share, discuss, encourage, challenge, and grow.
I have spoken with hundreds of educators and attended conferences with thousands. It is a rare exception to meet an educator who does not want the best for their students. Educators possess an innate desire to prepare students to the best of our ability. If you are such an educator, I challenge you to flatten the walls of your classroom. If we truly want to prepare our students for jobs that don’t even exist today, we have a duty to become connected educators. We must know how to manipulate technology, how to integrate tools into the curriculum, how to research and discover the recent innovations that will shape our future. To do this we must connect and technology provides the most effective and efficient means to crowdsource what educators need.
As 21st century educators, we no longer have the luxury of anonymity. Our students are standing on the edge of an infinite pool. We can try to build a fence around this pool, but we will fail. Our only option to keep our students safe is to teach our students how to swim and to do this, we must learn to swim as well. Twitter can be your SCUBA tank (Super Connected Ultimately Brave Apparatus) helping you explore the depths of the skills that our students will need to craft their future successes.
Let’s just keep swimming…together.
Here’s a great post to help you get started Come on in! The Twitter’s Fine! by @msfilas
Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter 🙂