Friday, February 20, 2009

Taking personal responsibility

This past week, I have attended the 26th annual conference of the Mississippi Educational Computing Association in Jackson, MS. Our keynote speaker this year was none other than the awesome Will Richardson.

One set of comments that Will made in his keynote are of particular interest to me. And, I believe they apply directly to all of us who are involved in planning for the effective use of technologies in the workplace and the lives of those who inhabit.

The concept involved personal responsibility.

After delivering a very compelling keynote address, Will summarized his points with a challenge to all Mississippi educators that we each take the personal responsibility to learn about blogs by blogging. We should invest significant personal assets into the writing and thinking we offer to the entries we make online. He encouraged us to "sweat" with our brains, to stretch hard and make profound, positive differences where we are.

Far too often, I fear that we are prone to just trot along and do our thing, expecting others to carry the heavy load. Or, we like to complain because things are not the way we think they should be. So, we fuss.

Rather than fuss, we should put on the mantle of intellectual actuity and really press for the higher ground. By doing so, we present an encouraging model for those around us.

So, I ask myself today: "Am I lazy or do I have the intellectual energy to give back to my world more than I have gotten?"

What about you? Really!!

What do you say?


Anonymous said...

Important thoughts, Larry. The landscape of learning is changing at such an astounding rate that it's no longer a possibility to say you know it all.

Now more than ever, we have to be willing to jump in and experience learning alongside our students. Plus, we can't even assume that our students see us as the ultimate authority on a subject area, when they have a world of experts available online.

Every day, I try to find a way to learn something new, to share something I've learned, and to help someone else grow in new knowledge.

After all, the best way to learn to be a good teacher is to learn to be a good learner, don't you think?

Unknown said...

That is a very challenging thought Larry. I wonder how many of the teachers in the audience responded, "But I don't have time"? I know from experience that when I took up the challenge myself I was surprised at how much time I put into each post. I can identify with the 'sweat with our brains' concept.
I am constantly surprised by the number of teachers who respond to the call to have their students blog and have never read any other student blogs - or adult ones. It is even more noticeable in podcasting. The number of people who ask for help with starting out podcasting and have never listened to one themselves. I always ask, "Would you try to make a documentary if you'd never seen one?" or "Would you try to teach your students to write ballads if you hadn't read a few yourself?"
Now I am challenged to think about, "Should you ask your students to blog if you have never written a blog post yourself?"
How brave am I :)