I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions. However, they can be a good way to reflect on your life and make some small, yet meaningful, goals and changes. That being said, I’ve come up with a short list of Ed Tech Resolutions that are about self-challenge rather than results.
Take time for you to explore, play, and learn new things. As educators, we often are so focused on how to integrate tools into our classrooms that we do not take time to see how this can befit us as an educator – be it for our own learning, organization, or even relaxation. I highlighted this idea in my article, “How to Use iPads for Personal Professional Development.” Sometimes, you need to put yourself first!
- Go outside of your comfort zone! The only way to improve is to stretch yourself. Do one thing this year that makes you a little uncomfortable – sign up for a twitter account (and tweet!!), comment on a blog (maybe this one?), download and play with a new application (one of my favorites is Evernote, but you can even do it with Angry Birds!).
- Give up a little bit of your power. Education has a long tradition of us giving students assignments with “right answers” or set outcomes. Even if it’s on something small, try to give up a little bit of power in an assignment – allow your students to flex their creative muscle with a directive, rather than a recipe! You may be surprised at what they do. I do this a little more each year with my student documentaries project; they have never ceased to amaze me.
- Sign up for one online professional development experience. Try a free or paid webinar, a Google Hangout, or a Twitter Chat. Online learning (in a variety of formats) is here to stay. See what all of the fuss is about. You can sign up for a multi-week, for credit, pay class or a free one hour session. The choices are endless. If you would like to see some options, check out some of my favorite options via EdTechTeacher, Professional Learning Practices, and ISTE. These are only three potential options, there are may more.
- Be willing to fail! We live in such a high stakes world that we often forget that failure is a part of the learning process. Taking risks means risking failure. We teach this to our students and we should be ready to model it for them as well. This is probably the hardest task for us. Be willing to risk stepping into social media and building our PLN, try out a new lesson plan, or engage in learning.