NETA Connector Article

25-random-thingsLast year we celebrated 25 years of NETA! It was fun listening to the past presidents and folks who have been a part of the organization since the beginning. I am amazed at all the different technologies that we have worked with during the last 25 years. Bob share a few of these before the conference last year:

I remember when…

…the Apple IIe was introduced.
…the Internet was on the horizon and we were learning how to network computers together.
…HyperCard was introduced as a programming language.
…Palms were all of the rage and we couldn’t get enough of it.
…we had one computer per classroom.

Look how far we have come!  We are now elbow deep in technological change like we have never experienced in education. Driving the change are technologies schools are adopting at a rate like no other time: mobile devices, cloud computing, social media, and open content to name a few. Some of this is due to popularity, some out of budget necessity, and some both. 

More and more districts are investigating mobile one to one initiatives if they have not already pulled the trigger to go there. Districts (and teachers) are seeing the benefits of having cloud resources available to them. In terms of social media, administrators, teachers, students and parents are all leveraging this tool to communicate, collaborate and stay connected to those people most important to them. And open content is changing the way we think about classroom content, textbooks, and how we teach and learn differently. Content is free – Now how do we leverage it and organize it for our classroom?

And our future is full of surprises. We never know what is coming next year, let alone 5 years from now. The folks at COSN put together the Horizon Report every year and they have a few predictions. They predict the next big technological advances that will affect education are going to be game based learning, personalized learning environments, augmented reality and natural user interfaces. Are you ready?

Why is all of this important and how is it going to impact your classrooms? 

I believe it’s all about about being connected. Building networks of like minded folks who have the same passions. Being engaged and driving change rather than having it done unto us. What is the future you want for your students? How can you make it happen? That’s why I love NETA and the great folks who are a part of the organization. Always looking to better education in Nebraska. I look forward to working with you this next year and hearing all of your comments and suggestions. You are the change we want to see!

My Multi-Tool

For some reason I woke up this morning with a new outlook. A new energy. A renewed passion and focus to keep all aspects of my life well maintained.

Tool

As I was getting ready and thinking about things, I grabbed my multi-tool and thought to myself: you can really tell a lot about a person by this handy little guy! 

So, from here on out, I vow to carry my multi-tool in my pocket wherever I go as a reminder of the following:

  • Be resourceful
  • Build it if it needs built
  • Fix it if it needs fixed
  • Know what tools you have and how to use them
  • Think outside of the box – Be creative in how you might use them
  • Take time to carve something beautiful