Thursday, September 29, 2011

Talking... and a lot of it.

Yesterday was a very productive day for me. I started out attending a conference about the upcoming Common Core Standards that will be rolled out in the coming year. Lots of changes are in the works for teachers and students, but I think it's a good thing. One of the great things about the upcoming standards is that there is technology built right into them. This can be good because it takes a lot of the guessing game out of it for reluctant teachers since it explicitly states "Students will create digital media to..." right in there. The dialogue around our table was great... unfortunately, I had to leave early.

It then came time for me to talk, at the end of a long day for a group of 180+ CTE teachers. I don't know why I went on at the end, but they made me. I approached this talk a little different than I normally do. Since I'm labeled as "the tech guy", I didn't want to go up there and try to overwhelm them with a bunch of stuff... it was the end of the day and they'd heard enough. My talk was basically about teachers trying to find their inner nerd and harness that same level of passion in their students. The passion I'm referring to is when you get so involved in that ONE thing, that it's hard to turn your mind off of it. It appeared to be well received.

To cap off my day, I had the pleasure of being a guest speaker on a very popular podcast called MacReach. This was my first BIG TIME podcast, so I was a little nervous and wasn't sure how best to read the others on the Skype call. It was a lot of fun to talk with Meg Wilson & Kelly Dumont about all things Mac & iOS. These two are a couple of great educators I was able to meet at the ADE Institute this summer! Hopefully I'll get the chance to get on there again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yea... I'm a nerd! So what?!?

I have to give credit where credit is due here. The title from this blog actually came from my brother about 25 years ago. He was a clever little guy in his youth and wrote a paper for his 5th grade class, and it's something I've always wanted to use. So thanks Scott for the inspiration.

This came to me once again as I prepare to speak in front of 200+ CTE teachers next week about technology. I've talked to this crowd before, but in smaller chunks about something specific in regards to technology. What I decided to do is to TRY and encourage each of these teachers to find their inner nerd. Not glasses and pocket-protectors, but in the sense of finding something that they are passionate about and embrace it. They might already do that, who knows. But the real question is, do their kids do it? What's their hook for wanting to learn more? Most of them are in CTE classes because they want to be there and they find it enlightening and encouraging. At once you get a kid that is nerded out, what better barometer for success is there. THEY WANT TO LEARN MORE!!!!

I'll write (and share slides) after my session next week, but I thought I'd start with sharing my thoughts in a blog. Thanks to Merlin Mann for his talk at Deconstruct that has helped with framing some of my talking points. Thanks to all my ADE family for your inspiration. And of course, thanks to Fresno ROP for the honor.... I have goosebumps!