I recently spent a week in Austin Texas creating, learning and collaborating with about 400 hundred other educators from the United States, Mexico and Canada. Our week together as Apple Distinguished Educators was all about, creation, thought leadership and the empowerment to be the change we seek.
Our week started with usual get to know you activities and networking. As I moved about the room, networking, I came to realize that each person has a gift. The gift is our inspiration, passion and our reasons why we are known as “thought leaders.” I was challenged over the week in Austin, Texas to push myself outside my comfort level and stretch my thinking. “Yes and…..” statements with Rebecca Stockley, was new thinking for me, instead of the common “Yes but…..” that we as teachers seem to get used to saying. Our “Yes and…….” Statements showed us how powerful and positive thinking can inspire new excitement and leadership. I will defiantly be using “Yes and..” statements in my classroom.
As we learned about being authors, creators and thought leaders, we had more chances to meet and greet and network. All of us had a story, a story that was created and started somewhere along our educational journey. Our story needed to be told and experienced by others. We explored and learned about using iBooks Authors, the power of iTunes U and telling the story of me.
Our 17 plus hour days of learning were filled with, how to capture and create a story. We were given the power to dive deep into our teaching pedagogy, expand our knowledge of (for some of it was just starting to use) various apps and programs such as, keynote, HTML 5 widgets and all things iTunes U and iBooks Author.
Our learning never stopped when we stepped outside the classroom, it was enhanced and pushed further as mealtime approached and our PLN (professional learning networks) were built. This week in time will always be remembered as my push to be a creator, to inspire and to go forth and create a sense of Yes and… in all those I meet and teach over the next year.
Becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator to me, is an honor and responsibility to keep learning going. To step outside my comfort zone and be the leader of change. As the t-shirt says, “To teach I innovate.” Thank you to all those that helped me learn, grow and expand my PLN.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” –William Butler Yeats