Lets Inspire our Students (and Fellow Teachers) to Dream Big and Embrace Technology to Empower Their Goals
This week I had the pleasure and the privilege of attending FlipCon14 in Mars, PA (no shortage of alien and red planet jokes there let me tell you!).
FlipCon14 was a blast. Hundreds of inspired, enthusiastic educators embracing the power that flipped learning has to change student's lives. Equally encouraging is the way flipped teaching and learning frees up class time to let teachers personalize learning in ways never before possible. I came away seriously motivated!
The conference kicked off right with a Keynote from the delightful Molly Schroeder, Global Digital Age Learning Specialist and Google Certified Teacher. Molly shared lots of great tools, powerful ideas, and concepts that left conference-goers raring to learn more and excited to get back into their classrooms and do what great teachers do best – inspire students to learn and help them overcome academic obstacles.
Living in Beta
One of the first ideas Molly shared was the concept of “Living in Beta”. This is the idea that with the ever-changing nature of technology, we really need to just dive in – start somewhere and iterate! If we sit around waiting until “it all shakes out”, we're going to miss the boat. Not only will we be too late and learn nothing along the way, but we'll also lose out on the opportunity to help influence how things evolve and take shape.
Of course, many people are still hesitant, and made extra nervous by the idea of failing. Sure, tech can let us down, and it will from time to time, but if we never fail then we never really tried in the first place!
Molly shared this funny video that reminds us that we have to be ready and willing to work around issues (they are going to happen):
Molly went on to focus on the inspiring uses of technology that have altered our world and reminded us that anything is possible. I truly believe one of the most important roles a teacher can play in a student's life is to inspire them to dream, and thereby motivate them to learn and to “shoot for the moon”!
Molly share a wonderful video that reminded us of the incredible event that took place on August 6, 2012. I'm embarrassed to say that this really kind of slipped by me. Oh, I knew we landed the rover Curiosity on Mars, but I didn't really get into it when it was happening. I should have rallied my kids around this event and used it as an opportunity to encourage their dreams and their sense of wonder.
This video (not the same one Molly shared, but a similar one) really helps to remind us how momentous of an occasion this was, and how amazing an achievement the Mars rover landing was. If mankind can do this with science and technology, there is no limit to what we can do when we set our minds and resources to it!
To get a better sense of this from the perspective of the team of scientists that made this a reality, check out this video – jump to minute 21 and watch as these dedicated scientists and technologists enjoy the moment when their dreams become a reality as the Mars rover touches down. It's hard not to get a tear in your eye as you feel the joy of achievement that emanates from this group.
Thanks Molly, for a great Keynote presentation, and for inspiring teachers everywhere to motivate their students and keep the dream alive!
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/8837056182/