We had our first session of the Engaging the Digital Learner dinner series last night. It was a great night with Dean Shareski as our main speaker (which I hope to blog about more in the coming days). First of all, though, I wanted to share the closing words and thoughts, by Elisa Carlson (@emscarlson on twitter), one of our Directors of Instruction in our district.
Her words were bold, declarative, and powerful.
Please take time to listen to her closing remarks found in the link below:
I share Elisa’s passion and commitment to this “radical social movement for change“. These feelings have become stronger and more deeply ingrained as I watch my own children grow. This is no longer just about our students.
It is personal.
It is about my own children.
More than that, it is about the children of my fellow parents around our school, our district, our province, our country, and the world. All parents want their children to succeed. They want the best for their children. I agreed with, and empathized with Elisa when she talked about her four sons. I want what’s best for my kids and the kids of my fellow parents out there.
We all want our children to be engaged in their learning – to really be engaged in their learning. It is then when our children will become lifelong learners who are passionate about things that are important to them. We want to teach them how to communicate and how to collaborate with others in meaningful ways. We want them to make connections with those around them – both near and far – people they can learn with and from now and for years to come. We want them to be creative and be prepared for a future we have no idea about. We want them to be able to adapt to change and not be overwhelmed by it. Change is a reality and we must be able to embrace it, and not fight against it.
Our children need to be encouraged to be able to learn to challenge themselves, which they will do on their own if they are passionate about something. They need to own their learning. It is not about “technology” per se. It is about learning. Technology is a big part of our children’s life and their learning. We cannot ignore this or think it is just a fad that will go away. It is not a fad. It is not going away.
We need to give our students the opportunities to learn and to express their learning in ways that are meaningful for them. We need to allow our students to learn things which are important to them. This will, in turn, plant the seeds for life-long learning. As Elisa said, “we know what students need and we know how to engage the learners.” I’m not saying it is easy, but it is what we need to do for our students and their families.
For their future.
It’s all about learning for me.
Elisa ended her closing by saying,
“We can change education together because it matters. You matter and because our learners matter. Let’s make it a year that counts!”
We do matter!
Our children do matter!
All our learners matter (including students, parents, staff, and community)!
Our world matters.
WE can make a difference!
What will you do to make a difference this year?
What will you do to really engage your students and parents (and staff, if you are a leader in education)?
Thank you to Elisa Carlson for the inspiration for this post.