Summer is for change. Out with routine, in with spontaneity. When you were in high school, that meant relaxing, seeing friends, going to parties. In college, it likely meant a summer job to make the money that paid for college. Now, as an adult, living your future, summer is a time to rejuvenate, to enrich, to build your core–those things that make you who you are.
As a technology teacher or IT coordinator or computer specialist (or all of the above), you need as much time as you can get and more than you have during the school year to stay afloat of what’s happening in the tech ed field. The list of changes is daunting–iPads, 1:1 initiatives, technology integration, podcasts, sharing and publishing student work, embeddable widgets, Common Core State Standards, digital citizenship, keyboarding. If you’re like me, you try to do what you can during the school year, but it’s summer, with its endless days and no schedule that gives you the freedom to let your brain lose.
Here’s my bucket list for this summer:
- Work on my blog (I have Ask a Tech Teacher, and I also have one for my writing hobby called WordDreams)
- Increase my PLN (I’m looking. Anyone have ideas?)
- Read some tech books. (Here’s a list from Richard Byrne I’m working my way through.)
- Learn one new web-based tool every day–take weekends off (So far, I’ve learned Animoto, Storybird, Screencast, some online Timeline creators, several online Puzzle creators…)
- Notice one tech use around me every day. (Like QR codes. Do you believe how they’re everywhere? How about Siri? How can I use that in the classroom to connect tech class to everyday life?)
- Learn to use the iPad. These are going to take over education–be ready. Don’t be stumped. (Fingers crossed, I’m getting one when the iPad 3 comes out)
- Try tech tools I don’t understand. (I’m learning robotics this summer as part of my school’s push to teach robotics to 5th graders. How about you? Pick one you think you won’t like. What about Twitter? or Facebook? Try them out. See how they work. Then, you’ll have good reasons why you don’t like them or you’ll change your mind)
- Join an ed tech effort that’s bigger than you. Present at a tech ed conference (next year: ISTE). Join the LearnZillion Dream Team. Teach a summer tech class for free. I know I’ll come out of it motivated, inspired, ready to return to teaching in the Fall.
What are you doing this summer?
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.