Education. As a history teacher, I observed centuries of wars, poverty, and unspeakable destruction. The few breaks in that cycle can be attributed to compassion resulting from education.
The previously impermeable walls separating K-12 and higher education are starting to diminish. Teaching future educators about the immense joy and significant challenges to working with children in an environment entirely separate from those students is an antiquated notion. I look forward to the day when pre-service teachers are given the benefit of day to day training with practicing teachers as well as brief sabbaticals with the researchers and innovators who look beyond the everyday practice. It is with the steady influence of both that they can truly develop the pedagogical, technical, and spiritual skills necessary to thrive as a teacher in this rapidly evolving field. In addition, allowing these teachers to determine for themselves the best path to their own enlightenment through self-created demonstrations of their knowledge can create a generation of teachers capable of truly changing the world through its children.
Absolutely anything. Although education and technology are my passions, I've found immense joy in simply learning. I am always surprised at how new knowledge applies to unexpected situations.
Learning. Many are surprised to know that, although I work in technology, my skills are entirely self-taught. I've made creative use of the seemingly infinite resources the digital age has provided.
A colleague introduced me to TED when we met to work on a grant for ipads in classroom use. She was demonstrating the app. While I should have been impressed with the technology, it was the talk titles that really got my attention. When I returned to my office, I found Mark Bezos's story as a volunteer firefighter and I've been an addict ever since. I work with a wide variety of souls every day and the various topics on TED have informed those interactions in the most unexpected ways. I share many of the technology-based talks with the faculty I currently train, but have found the everyday insights of amazing individuals like Mark extremely useful in my encounters with almost everyone.
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