Just over a year I ago I went to my first EdTechTeam Summit in Boulder, Colorado. I walked away extremely overwhelmed, exhausted, but inspired how G Suite for Edu tools could redefine my classroom. Fast forward to January 2017 and I was sitting on a plane to Las Vegas about to present at my fourth EdTechTeam Summit.
|Donny rocking Saturday morning Keynote|
I find a lot of inspiration going to EdTechTeam Summits! I love seeing what other amazing educators are doing and inspiring others. Saturday morning started off no different with Donnie Piercy’s keynote. As I listened in on his keynote, I remember thinking I wish I was a student in his class! He set the tone for what would turn out to be amazing weekend of learning.
My biggest take away from the weekend was from Jeffery Heil and his session on, “Why Teach Failure,” and our acceptance as teachers to present the possibility of failure as an option. I always want my students to achieve at their greatest potential so therefore why do I even present the opportunity for them to not achieve at mastery or above? Why not create a culture where students are continuously revising and reviewing work until mastery is achieved? This resonated with me and I reflected on my own personal practices as a teacher, “do I really promote mastery if students do not achieve it on the first attempt?” Since returning home from Vegas, I have been explicitly saying to my students “it isn’t about getting the answer right or wrong but more about what you do with it once you know it is wrong.” My students have always known that we can learn just as much from a wrong answer as a right answer but I feel like Jeffery pushed me to take it one step further. I am reiterating to my students day in a day out that their work really truly has no due date and therefore is always a work in progress. I am assessing rubrics and how they are presented to students to see how I can promote mastery rather than the option to fail.
Besides attending some amazing sessions by fellow presenters, I also had the opportunity to present on some amazing topics myself. I ran a session on Twitter, Google Forms, Building a Breakout box, and several Breakouts. The energy from the attendees was electrifying! It was amazing to see a network of educators (largely from the same district) come together and immediately find opportunities on how what they were learning could be implemented in their classroom the following week. I love sharing my passion for edtech so there is nothing better to see teachers excited to use what they learned.
I was sad to leave! The sunshine and vibe that this EdTechTeam Summit offered was rejuvenating. As I sat on the plane back to Colorado, I reflected on the weekend and what I had taken away from the summit. It was simple… never accept failure as an option! Continue to edit and revise until there is mastery. Yet, can we ever say anything is mastered?