In the last two days of July my district hosted an amazing Professional Learning Event called #TechnoPalooza 2014. There were amazing presentations by myself and others both within my district and outside of my district.
As I moved on from those two days and reflected on the learning, connecting, and collaboration that took place, one thing rose to the surface. In every situation where an individual’s learning was impacted, it was through a story or stories shared.
I heard feedback about my colleagues presentations as well as my own presentations, and each conversation started with… “I loved the story you told about….” or “I appreciated the story you told how you reached a student through… I related to that.”
Recently, Hayley Sample, a 4th grade English Language Arts Teacher that I work closely with as her Instructional Technology Coach, shared how she completely redefined storytelling and publishing through the use of Google Forms, Showbie and the BookCreator app that was featured on my Instructional Team’s Blog “Making IT Click“. Her story was so powerful that her story was re-blogged by the creators of the BookCreator app on their blog site. As I write this, Showbie is discussing with Hayley the possibility of re-blogging here story as well. She was also a presenter on this topic at TechnoPalooza… what resonated with participants? It was the power of her story, the learning experience and the impact it had on the students in her classroom and beyond.
As I thought about the presentations and workshops I have led this summer, I have come to realize that the stories we tell of personal struggles, triumphs and transformation as we share the skills are what truly encourage others to try the techniques, tools and ideas we offer. I am mid-way through the book “ROLE Reversal” by Mark Barnes and it’s the stories he shares through out, but especially in chapter 5 (Moving from Grades to Feedback) and chapter 6 (Evaluating while Evolving), that fire me up to transform classrooms to a Results Only Learning Environment.
As I think about the transformation and growth in my own professional learning, it has never been because of a profoundly skill driven course I have taken that has pushed me forward, but rather, the stories of passion, heart (and heartache), and difference made.
I have included the presentations I gave at #TechnoPalooza below. However, without the context of the stories I tell, they seem somewhat empty to me. I share them without reservation, as I know, anyone can use my presentation, but no one can tell the same stories… those are uniquely mine and those I share my learning journey with.
Presentation on “Curation for the 21st Century”
and “Genius Hour.”
I also had the privilege of co-presenting with Library Media Specialist, Sue Fitzgerald (Blog: The Unpretentious Librarian).
We shared with participants…
“Letting a Tech Club Find You”
“Blogging as a Reflective Educator”
and “Blogging by Choice”
No matter what expertise you bring to the table in whatever environment, your stories are what make your wisdom and ideas palatable to others. Anyone can present the tool or technique, but only you can share the stories. Share your stories… the world is waiting for your unique perspective that may be just the story that pushes that person to transform their own learning and the learning environment of their classroom, campus, district, etc.