As 2013 comes to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re heading. Although December 31st isn’t the end of our school year, we can still make new year’s resolutions about how we’ll return to our schools and effect change. In some ways, these resolutions are even more powerful than goals set in August. After all, now we’ve had several months with students and colleagues. We’ve gotten a taste for this year’s challenges and experienced some successes and failures. As a result, we can make more informed resolutions for the second half of our 2013-2014 year. So with this in mind, I made a few new year’s #EdTech resolutions:
#1 Create a Dance Card
I’m guilty of saying “yes” more than I should. To the detriment of my family and friends, I over-commit. This becomes a double-edged sword as my efficacy to fulfull these commitments also becomes a challenge. I have decided that in 2014, I am going to create a “Dance Card”. What this will be is list with big, medium and small slots for commitments, based on how much time and effort they will require. Then I will promise myself that I will only say “yes” as many times as these slots allow. If my dance card is full, no matter how much I want to be accommodating or jump in, I resolve to say, “no”. As a reversal of this train of thought. I’m also suggesting this dance card to friends who are afraid to say “yes” -- who too often say “no.” If this is you, try to free up some slots on your dance card and promise to say “yes” a few more times this year as well.
#2 Try at least three things I’ve dismissed
While I’m pretty bad at saying no to projects and people, I’m fairly adept at saying no to products and devices. I’ve written off quite a few programs, apps and devices over the last year or so. But as I wrote in a recent post, there are no long term relationships in EdTech. As such, I resolve to take my own advice and revisit at least three devices, programs, platforms or apps. I’m going to do a little research first, see who makes this dance card, but once I find my three, I will dig into using them with fidelity and an open mind. Who knows... maybe I’ll find a new love!
#3 Visit more classrooms and schools that aren’t like mine
When working in the same school or same network of schools for several years, it’s easy to become myopic. The challenges and obstacles you face and successes you enjoy become the entire universe. Other opportunities or realities fade away. To gain better perspective, inspiration and clarity about our work, I resolve to visit a school unlike those in my network at least once a month. Whether I spend a day in classrooms physically or schedule a Google Hangout to be a silent observer through a laptop camera, I want to talk to more educators who walk different paths, battle different obstacles and reach different achievements. Bringing this back home will help me be a better support to our teachers and students.
One last resolution is to eat lunch. This might seem silly, but between working in classrooms, supporting teachers and various meetings, I usually forget to eat lunch. So this year, I resolve to eat lunch every day. It’s better for my health, and I’m usually nicer when I eat.
What are your New Year’s EdTech Resolutions?
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