Warning: Stream of passionate consciousness about EdTech excellence ahead.
In a travel haze, I have had some time to reflect and to get back into my EdTech work not directly tied to my job as a practitioner. I have been thinking about why people are so drawn to EdTech and I have come to conclusion that is revolves around excellence.
Think about it. What drives us all in this field? We want excellence in our practice as educators and the learning outcomes for our students. We strive for connected learning, deeper understanding, and more effective pedagogy. Educational technologists use tools and connections to break free of the traditional boundaries of learning towards the goal of achieving excellence for all.
I was doing an interview the other day with some new to the field and she commented on the collective and individual brilliance of those in EdTech. She observed that we have a deeper understanding of curriculum, learning, pedagogy, and human development than other fields. Of course, I agree highlighting the work on SAMR or TPACK or inquiry or social constructionism. These are not perfect scholarly works, but they push us all towards thinking about what is needed to allow students to drive their own learning, to create, and to move towards innovation and excellence.
I added that we also share this knowledge freely and our collective skill, knowledge, and intelligence grows. Just look at the collaborative endeavors we have accomplished through social media – global connections, #geniushour, EdCamps, #MakerEd, and the million other things that we do outside of our own schools and districts.
However, our drives towards excellence go beyond attitude and accomplishment towards grit. Very few of us in the field have spoken to colleagues or policymakers spouting, with support of evidence, the value of our collective works in resource enhanced learning without being dismissed, discouraged, or degraded. We have learned that excellence in learning is not something everyone is ready to embrace and it is our job to show true grit by wedging our field into the overall education landscape. We know our approaches and our outcomes best prepare the students for the world that awaits them by developing skills, competencies, attitudes, and abilities. We are growth mindset in a fixed mindset profession.
Just look around. Our schools have pockets of excellence that align (or overlap) with the EdTech community. Our most progressive thought leaders at the site and district level speak the language of collaboration and innovation we espouse in EdTech and often those people celebrate technology infused learning as much as any of us. Our biggest push at the policy level comes from the Educational Technologists that understand the crossroads of learning, achievement, budgets, and excellence must be sealed through political action.
And if you want the great connector around the education world, look to EdTech folks. We may speak different languages or engage in disparate curricula, but the passion, drive, and brilliance that comes through resource enhanced teaching and learning is universal. All of us are working to make learning better for all and to achieve excellence in all that we do.