“If you build it they will come”
Funny watching a piece on the 25th anniversary of “Field of Dreams” this week, how iconic that phrase has become. In today’s education field there is a lot of building going on…for teachers and for students. Not necessarily in the physical brick and mortar sense, but technologically. There are networks, access points, BYODs, 1-1s, acceptable use documents, and academic integration projects just to name a few. These are built to engage and enhance learning and instruction for all learners. Differentiation and accessibility are more easily addressed, with common place, everyday tools becoming the way to bring #UDL (universal Design for Learning) back to a forefront of conversation. We are building the face of today’s education, and the students come everyday to find their dreams.
With Edcamps, Twitter chats and Google Hangouts, the new field of professional development is being built right in the dugout. Educators are building teams of #PLNs (Personal Learning Networks), weekly Twitter chats and @voxer groups to chat and share! They are connecting in 140 characters, over wifi, over hills, mountains, seas and time zones. Just see the list of chats complied by @cybrayman. Educators taking to the field to build their own professional development and they are building for others. But do others dream to come?
A common theme being discussed is how to get others in our buildings to come to this dream of the future for students and education. The field may be right outside their door, but they do not come, they do not engage. The glove, bat and ball may be put in their hands as they had hoped, but they still want someone else to do the catching and hitting for them. Daily teachers hope that students will find the personal motivation to want to learn and grow, but are they modeling that? Technology is making it easier to make it around the bases for students, but is doing the same for teachers too.
I am continually amazed to see and hear about educators who have it built for them, but do not arrive. It is hard to learn and grow, but no learning can happen if you don’t even take the field or come up to the plate. The amount of opportunity to find professional development is today’s field of dreams…are you coming to it?