At the Klingenstein Summer Institute, we talked about “questions I am living.” What I love about this idea is that these are questions that we are constantly seeking answers to. This can feel absurd (and mildy frustrating) for a pragmatic person like myself, but it holds me in the process of living rather than focusing on a finish line.
The Questions I’m Living
1. What is “enough”? When is enough enough?
Do I give enough love, enough time, enough motivation, enough dedication, enough devotion to my life, my family, my job, myself?
2. How can some things be the same as they have always been and yet the world is always changing?
Adolescents have always rebelled against the institutions of the older generation and the older generation has always grappled with how to guide them.
Technology is changing how we live in this world, yet technology has ALWAYS changed how we live.
Side note: Scott McLeod wrote a great post about the attitude that “We didn’t have technology as a kid and I turned out okay.” I love the way Scott takes buzzwords or phrases that you feel comfortable with and picks apart the embedded issues. Technology has ALWAYS changed how we live. That doesn’t mean all technology is good or better, but it will change, and we need to adapt to it.
The Questions that Guide my Professional Development
For the OES Technology website, I wrote a short version of my educational philsophy, framing it with questions:
1. Why teach?
Learning comes from experiencing new information, skills, emotions, perspectives, connections, and relationships. Being immersed in this process, as a student or as a facilitator, is stimulating, challenging, and rewarding work.
2. Why technology?
Technology situates students (of all ages) in an environment of exploration, connection, creativity, and collaboration, during which learning opportunities are expanded. Additionally, the ubiquity and mobility of devices is changing how we function, learn, and work, and thus learning to navigate this rapidly changing, digital world is imperative.
3. Why middle school?
This is a critical age, when abstract thinking blossoms and perspectives shift; when life habits and values are formed; when capacities for empathy, creativity, and energy explode. The changes I see in students from when they enter as sixth graders to when they leave as eighth graders is a testament to the amazing growth that takes place in a short three years. I am humbled to be a part of the community that guides young people through this formative stage of their life.