To make my experience at ISTE more meaningful, I decided to set some goals for myself before heading down. These goals will help me focus my time and energy to make this trip as effective towards my continued growth as possible. I am open to these goals changing slightly when I am down there but I feel it will help me stay focused and not get too sidetracked. I am also very much looking forward to those things that happen that are not listed in the agenda, the learning that will take place in random conversations or interactions in the hallways and lounges.
1. Connect and Collaborate
Easily my top goal is to connect with other educators in order to collaborate, either there at the conference or later when I am back in Iowa. I have tried to connect to as many other educators as I can in order to give myself access to a wide array of viewpoints and ideas. I believe being a connected educator is key to growing as a teacher in the 21st century. There are also many teachers that I have only met on Twitter that I hope to meet in person. Those educators who have shared with others their great ideas and plans that I have questions about. Connecting is key to my learning today and I am making this a priority.
2. Flipped PD and Tech Coaching
In my role as a Tech Integrationist (still think I need a better title), I am focusing on how I can help personalize our professional development to make the growth more meaningful to each teacher. I have started down a flipped professional development path as I view it as giving us the best chance at helping teachers in the ways they need and want. There are many others who have tried this and been successful, so I am hoping to learn from others and find ways I can make it work better for us. There are also a lot of sessions on instructional coaching for technology and this will help me grow as a coach.
3. Digital Citizenship
This is one area that I feel we need to work on as a school and possibly as a district. During our first year as a 1:1 this was not something we approached, partly because there is a lot of variables that will impact how each school approaches it differently. Now that we have had a full year and our MS is going 1:1, this should be a focus especially considering the few negative instances that have happened this year. Our goal should be to prepare our students to live and learn in our digital world. I am hoping to answer the question, how best can we do this?
4. Assisting learning in a 1:1 Environment
My last goal is a little more overall encompassing as I try to find resources and ideas to best help the teachers that I work with. There are always new ideas and tools being introduced that can fit the pedagogical needs of the teachers at my school. I am always trying to be searching for them to help others when we have discussions or they ask for help. This goal is just to help cover all that I want to do that is not covered in the first three goals.
My hope is by stating my goals ahead of time, I am more able to follow through and focus on the needs that I have. A key thing though is that I am aware that I need to be flexible and be open to change when I am actually at the event. That is a key thing to remember for anyone when you are at such a large learning experience.