So I am a little late to the party for the Walk My World Project LE 8, but I am happy to have had a little extra time since it helped me reflect a little more on which journey I wanted to write about and what it means to me.
I was thinking about writing a post chronicling my journey through the IT&DML program at UNH. Then I thought that particular journey might seem a bit campy and overdone, so I was struggling to put something together.
At my department meeting this afternoon, I became suddenly aware of the “end” of a journey that I didn’t even realize I had started.
Less than a year ago, I was an average internet user of my age. I was a consumer of the net and many of the things it had to offer, but I didn’t feel the compulsion to produce anything. Whether I didn’t feel my experiences relevant or I was inexperienced or under informed, that was who I was. I had a great appreciation for technology and all of the wonderful things that it could bring to our lives. I was also very aware and excited about the use of different technologies in teaching and learning environments.
Then a fantastic opportunity presented itself. Ian O’Byrne came to my district and met with some teachers about a 6th year program at UNH that focused on all of the things I loved about technology and some of the things that I was a bit afraid of. What a great chance to increase my own skills and develop and discover new ideas and new connections that would make my teaching more engaging and effective. .
One of the first assignments for the program was to create and become familiar with a Twitter account. This was one of my biggest fears. What about my life and thoughts was so interesting that I would want to condense into 140 characters and then share with the world? For that matter, did I really have time to go through and make connections to people and read their thoughts every day and sift through all that info? How was I going to change from a consumer to a producer?
Over the last nine months, I have learned so much about the benefits that production holds. I have made connections and expanded on ideas that I would never have had the opportunity to in the past. I’ve been able to help colleagues use their technologies more effectively and for great gains. I have helped students show off their skills and talents and what they have learned. All of this after a few months working with some wonderful people.
So where did my journey “end” and what made me think of this?
At the meeting I mentioned earlier, a request was made of myself and my colleagues by administration. Upon hearing the request I was shocked and confused and angry. I will not go into the details of the discussion, however in that moment I came to the realization that something I would have not even considered an issue nine months ago has now become an issue I plan to stand behind and contend for.
I have had many realizations about different aspects of my life since starting the IT&DML program at UNH. This is merely the most recent. And one that I felt merited acknowledgement.