Well it has been a couple months since my last entry. Ending another school year took care of May into early June. Then a little classroom recharge and reflect time. Followed by digital growth to hopefully make my classroom even better in late August. This process brought me to a couple personal conclusions. The love I have to learn what’s new in technology, building on my current knowledge base and managing the amazing tools at my fingertips.
Simply put, my digital classroom has given me so many way to grow as an educator. The past 12 months has given me a whole new professional learning network or PLN. I am constantly amazed at how many really smart driven educators there are out there that just love to share what they know with anyone, regardless your level of tech knowledge. No teacher has to “go it alone” anymore.
I love to walk everyday and used to listen to music during my 4 mile journey. Now I listen to technology podcasts, my time to enjoy learning. As I reflect on my educator journey, I realize how much I love to learn via the technology tools in my life. Even at 52 I feel like one of my students when they learn something new and just can’t wait to share it with the important people in my life. Yes, my family gets to hear a lot about this subject.
As much as I love how great my digital tools are, I am learning that there must be limits. Use and enjoy the incredible portable digital tools of your life. There are so many crazy cool things these devices can do in our lives. We still need to embrace face-to-face interactions, making sound eye contact time together. In other words, use the tool and put it down.
Human beings need time together. We need to respect that all of us have three things happen when we interact with one another. Some people give us energy, some take energy from us, while others are neutral. Whether it is family, friends, activities with peers, homeroom at school or faith gathering times, these three human energy processes occur.
Regardless of what our path in life is going to be, we need to respect face time as much as personal tech time. We may think social media is connecting with others, which it is at a certain level. Real relationships are built by being together in person along with sharing our life events digitally. The combination of people power and the technology world will create so much more meaning to life for all of us.
I hear stories of friends going out for dinner, putting their phones in the middle of the table and the person that takes their device first picks up the tab. While technology is fun, maybe the process should be respecting each other, truly listening to what someone has to say. You might be that person that gives others energy. Young and old alike can model the responsible use of technology, then put it down. I plan to practice “put it down” this summer and into my digital classroom lessons.