Wednesday, December 27, 2017

One Word: Perspective

Every year I try to start the new year with a word that would be helpful for me. Last year I read Start with Why by Simon Sinek and it has led me to this year's one word: Perspective.

As an educator, reading Mr. Sinek's book made me start looking at the "why's" regarding the things I do and the expectations we place at our school regarding educational technology. I am a big fan of backward planning- starting with the end goal in mind and then working out what it would take to get to the end result wanted. By asking myself "WHY" I am making sure my perspective is correct. My goal is to always ask myself "What's best for the students?" That leads me to my goal of focusing on my perspective this year. 

Sometimes I find myself in meetings and it is only natural that we start thinking about changes from our own perspective. How is this going to impact me or my classroom? It's very easy to start worrying about myself instead of keeping my perspective on the real goal: "Is this what is best for the students?" It's a slippery slope where we can find ourselves making decisions based on cost or ease of use when talking about educational technology. But the bottom line should always be "Is this what is best for our students?" 

Perspective is different based on our individual pasts and training but if I focus on a guiding question that is bigger than my own "camp" then I am both open to the perspectives of others and feel confident about what I believe due to the desire to keep my guiding questions focused on my students and not me. 

As I work towards reminding myself of the needed perspective this year, I hope my focus on others will allow me to see big pictures better. I tend to be someone that gets excited about the potential of educational technology for our students. In my past it would be fair to judge me and say that I tried to lead with technology instead of student needs. I am not that person any longer. I am quite certain that through much reading, research and soul searching I am a better instructional technologist than I have been- I have grown. It is my desire to continue on this path. So my one word for 2018 is Perspective. May I ever be mindful of not allowing the technology to displace the pedagogy nor the pedagogy to displace the person. 

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