The 10 Skills Modern Teachers Must Have is what sparked the Summer Tech Challenge. When I read this article, I knew that I had to use it to frame my summer tech training.
One of the statements in this article that really stuck out to me was "If you can't figure out how a digital tool helps you in under 15 seconds, you don't need it." For me, this statement is powerful. I'm always looking for the next big thing in educational technology. I explore a lot of sites every week. I have taken this statement to heart. If I can't figure out how to use the tool or how my teachers can use the tool in a short time, I move on.
Another skill modern teachers must have is building a PLN or Personal Learning Network. One of my big goals in the Summer Tech Challenge is to help teachers build their PLN. From blogging, to Pinterest to Twitter, all of these tools can help you build a PLN. I have built my PLN from scratch this year as I finally joined Twitter. I cannot believe how Twitter has changed the way I do things in my job, the way I share things, the way I ask for help. While most of these people on Twitter I have never met, they are some of the most helpful and supportive people out there.
Some people believe that Twitter is nothing but a time waster. And I can see how Twitter can be that. I believe it is all about who you follow. Twitter is not just Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher. There is a whole education community out there that uses Twitter to share, to learn and to grow professionally. These are the people I follow. I don't follow the Justin Bieber's and Ashton Kutcher's of the Twitter world. I follow people who I can learn from and who give me value as an educator.
I have to give a shout out to one of those people @catlett1 aka Brent Catlett aka Mr. Google. He actually challenged me to blog a couple of months ago. Well, I finally got around to it and I think I will stick with it. Maybe no one will read this blog. And that's okay. I think blogging and getting some ideas out on screen will help me grow as an educator. And that is what is important.