Winter break is a great time to pause and reflect on how things have been going during the school year. The beginning of the new year also is a fantastic opportunity to set some goals. You may want to consider making changes that will consolidate your strengths and some that will reinforce your weaknesses. The following are some simple resolutions you might want to consider adopting in 2014.
Become a connected educator.
Becoming a connected educator is one of the wisest decisions that will have an impact on you, the kids you teach and everyone around you. But, what does it mean? It’s simply harnessing the power of technology to leverage your instruction. It’s incorporating technology in your teaching practice to boost student engagement and motivation. It’s a commitment to become a lifelong learner. Although Connected Educator Month was celebrated in October, you don’t have to wait until it comes around again to begin immersing yourself in this rewarding world. There are numerous resources that promote this. I thought this Connected Educator Starter Kit was a great resource to share to get started. One of my personal favorites also is this series of chats and podcasts created by my friends at #edtechchat.
Tweet more often.
Although this is closely related to the above-mentioned advice, it really deserves some space of its own. One of the highlights for me personally in 2013 — when I transitioned from a middle-school teacher to an ed tech coach — was starting to tweet. I use Twitter as a (virtual) space to get connected with other passionate educators from around the world. The 1,000 educators I follow and the +1,300 that follow me are part of this symbiotic relationship that adds value to each other. I would wholeheartedly recommend becoming an active part of a weekly chat. Don’t just lurk, participate; interact. A couple of my favorite ones are: #edtechchat and #caedchat. However, here’s an official calendar and updated list of Twitter chats so you can find those that best fit your needs.
Share what you learn with the world — that is, blog!
There are many ways you can achieve this, but one of the most powerful ones is through blogging. When you blog, not only are you exercising self-reflection, but you’re also benefiting the learning community by sharing what you’ve done, what worked and what didn’t work. I suggest you begin trying this out by creating a blog in Blogger or in WordPress. If you want your kids to engage in this process and blog together, I would suggest Kid Blog or Edublogs. No matter what the platform, the exercise is a rich one that will bear a lot of fruit. You might even consider guest blogging for SmartBlog on Education. In addition, having a blogroll, or list of blogs you follow has proved to be a valuable weapon in a teacher’s arsenal.
What about you? What are your New Year’s resolutions related to education? I would love to hear what they are. If you post yours in a brief comment, we can all suggest resources that might help you accomplish them effectively.
Isaac Pineda is the technology integration specialist at Colegio Inglés, a private 1:1 school in Monterrey, Mexico. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and an advocate for technology in education. He also works as a speaker and consultant providing professional development for teachers and administrators at schools in Mexico and overseas. Visit his website. Read his blog. Follow him on Twitter @Kairosedtech.