I get asked often: “How do you know all this?” And, as I support teachers learning how to leverage digital the quick answer is that I spend time learning. I never stop learning! I am aided and abetted in this learning by a wonderful team of coaches, and facilitators, who share their passion for learning new things with me. Often I am also asked – how do you remember all this? I remember it because I do it often, and believe me, I don’t remember it all. As is often the case with technology, we hit a snag; in these times I fall back on my previous experiences because they guide my skills and reasoning. Most importantly – and this applies to both aforementioned questions – I am not afraid to say I don’t know… yet.
I believe the recipe for learning technology is simple:
- Find quality time to learn. High pressure learning does not often work, find time when your brain is rested and relaxed and you can put the skills into practice.
- Research. What medium do you like to learn from? YouTube? Websites? Twitter? Podcasts? Books? Each medium has it’s advantages but you will find what fits you best.
- Practice! After you learn something new, you need to set aside time to utilize and hone your new skills. You need to practice the skill to retain it.
- Be Inquiry Minded! Don’t be afraid to press some buttons – all too often I hear people say they don’t want to “mess it up”. The simple truth is that everything can be undone, even reinstalling windows if you go that far. Knowing how to undo what you have done, whether that is finding the “cancel” button or the back button, is usually fairly straightforward. So, stop worrying about it and PLAY!!! We teach kids to inquire, now it’s your turn; press a button, find out what it does and I promise you: you will learn and remember what it does much faster than reading it in a book. Let’s change “I don’t know” into “I want to know”.
- Tell people what you have learned. As a teacher I can tell you the best way to understand something is by telling someone else what you know. Sharing with others refines your knowledge and helps stimulate your long term memory.
Ready to get started? Check out my list of my favorite places to learn; while not an exhaustive list I hope you will find inspiration here and before long you will be well on your journey to creating your own list of learning spaces.
- Teacher’s Tech
- Eric Curts
- DDSB Innovative Education
- Tony Vincent
- Keep Productive
- Flipped Classroom Tutorial
- Jayson Schultz
- George O’Toole
- Ryan Adams
- Practical Ed Tech – Richard Byrne
- G Suite Update Blog
- Innovative Education Blog
- Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
- George O’Toole
- Chris Taylor
- Topher Stevens
- Ryan Adams
- Eric Curts @ericcurts
- Ditch That Textbook @DitchThatTxtbk
- Jake Miller @JakeMillerTech
- Kasey Bel @ShakeUpLearning
- DDSB Innovative Ed @DDSB_EdTechs
- Tony Vincent @tonyvincent
- Chris Taylor @ChrisTaylor_OCT
- George O’Toole @georgeotoole67
- Jayson Schultz @jaysonschultz77
- Ryan Adams @RyanAdamsDDSB
- Topher Stephens @tophstev
- Chris Warren @Mrwarrenddsb
I use a free app on my android device called Stitcher
- The Ditch That Textbook Podcast
- Google Teacher Tribe Podcast
- Shifting Our Schools – Education:Technology:Leadership
- The PE Geek Podcast – Physical Education & Technology
- Spark from CBC Radio
- Get The Word Out
Enjoy the ride – and remember… the most important step you can take is your first step! Best of luck for the journey!