This week’s topic: Who or what was one of your most unexpected inspirations for the work you do with kids?
I love that kids are paired with the word inspiration in this week’s topic. In the field of edtech, we are all extremely passionate. We are the yes-sayers. As a result, credit often goes to those of us in the field for advances and inspiration that happen. And, there is no denying that we all are inspiring, we we were initially inspired by someone else. That is where we need to focus.
I write this while I am at #iste2015. I am surrounded by educators from all over the field, all over the world. Many of which have become celebrities in this field for obvious reasons. However, it is critical to remember we may be innovators, but we are not always the inspire-rs. We would not be effective if we did not have the “followers,” or the inspire-rs. So, while the credit is worthy, it is not wholly attributed to the edtech profession. It is because of students.
Let us celebrate the students and the educators who implement our ideas. The “followers.” Without them, innovation would not occur. When you return from ISTE or your summer conferences, remember the real celebrities: students.
Last year, my librarians and I teamed together for teen tech week. The focus was on hacker movements. It’s no surprise now that it is my focus. Making and hacking and girls in STEAM are now my passions. They have evolved and I attribute it all to a student.
During our hackathon last year, we only had a few students come. One of those was a girl. And, at the time, we were a little disappointed by the numbers. But, after the week was over, this one girl came to us and said she wanted to start a branch of Girls Who Code at our school. She head this passion for a while, but this event cemented her ideas. Sadly, we are not allowed to have any exclusionary clubs at our school – and girls only clubs fit that category – unless they are part of a branch. So, in came Girls Who Code.
After that week, this girl took the lead. She helped me start our student tech club, Warrior Tech, and represented the one girl in that club as well. She gave me the idea to do student-led PD for teachers. She gave me the idea to run a BYOD table. She came to speak to our teachers. She encouraged me to bring in other student speakers. In fact, she was the inspiration behind my passions.
When I reflect on last year and my goals for the future, I have her to thank. Right now, I am getting the credit, but it is not because of me. It is because of her.
As you finish out the summer, think about the whos and whats that inspired you. Who do you have to thank? Get excited by others ideas, but always ask who inspired them. That is who you must thank.