Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Power of Reflection

Over the past couple of days I have been preparing a presentation for K-12 Principals entitled "Harnessing the Power of Educational Technology" (I'll share more about this at a later time).  I must say that I have been quite impressed with myself as I decided to create the entire full day presentation using Google Sites.  During what seemed to be countless hours of tweaking presentations, searching for videos, and deciding what content I wanted to cover I found myself reflecting on my growth as a leader and learner.  The paradigm shifts that I have experienced are nothing but amazing.  My passion for helping all students succeed and taking my staff where they need to be has always been there, but my immersion in the world of web 2.0 has provided constant fuel to become better at what I do.
Technology is not always my driving force as many think.  Most of the time it is the inspirational conversations I have with educators from all corners of the globe on how they are moving away from traditional mindsets to unleash the creativity and learning potential in their students.  What is even better is that members of my own staff are beginning to embrace ideologies of authentic instruction to prepare students for success in the 21st Century.  In order to get to this point I had to look myself in the mirror and question some views I had in order to move forward without fear of failure.

Change in education tends to be evasive and not sustainable.  All to often entire educational organizations are comfortable with the status quo and if it isn't broke don't fix it mentality.  The honest truth though is the our system is broken and it is up to us to be open to new ideas, give up control, and work together to meet the diverse needs of today's learner.  Some might think that this is not possible, to difficult, ore requires an extensive amount of time.  These experiences and reflections I just shared prove that we all have the capacity no matter our position to transform our system of education one little piece at a time.


  1. What's really wild if you think about it, Eric, is that nothing that you're speaking about here really represents drastic change.

    The conversations that you're having in social media spaces---the fuel to your own growth----are the same kinds of conversations that have always led to new learning.

    The differences are:

    1. You can have those conversations anytime and anywhere today---instead of during once-a-week (or month) meetings with colleagues.

    2. You can tailor those conversations so that they're targeted on your own particular professional passions and interests.

    3. You can invite more people into the conversation---and additional voices means additional learning.

    Interesting, isn't it? The nature of learning hasn't changed. Just the tools that we can use to enable learning.

    I think that makes the whole "Web 2.0" world far more approachable--especially for those who are intimidated or skeptical of digital tools for learning.

    Rock on,

  2. Wow, what a thought-provoking post, both for you and the reader. It's the kind of learning growth that I would like to see for students; where they stand back and see how far they've come in learning and still want to learn more. I think if educator's were open to new ideas and possibilities we could make positive changes in education. I know it's frustrating for staff who want to move forward when administration is not open to change or growth. I enjoyed your post. It's given me some things to think about concerning moving educators forward.

  3. I am writing my masters capstone on the integrations of the arts and how impotent this is to the development of today's children and their future. I too have done much reflecting on my teaching and teaching in general. Will be applying to obtain my PhD soon because it is time to change what is happening in the classroom. I'm tired of running into closed doors that do not want to be opened. Tired of hearing a bell that dictates my time is over regardless of what is happening in the classroom. I'm tired of each subject being an entity unto itself. It's time to reflect on what can be not what used to be. Open the doors, get rid of the bells, let on subject blend into another and watch the light bulbs go off. This can only happen if we are open to change, work together, and help each other grow along with our students.

  4. Hi Eric,
    Great post!
    It's really about how our learning spaces are changing and have changed which demands that we are responsive and model the way. For me, lately, it's been about one learning conversation at a time with those that are lagging in the traditionalist zone. Although, I must state it is my PLN that keeps me fueled with energy.