My Learning Manifesto

I have two passions.

One of them is technology, and pushing the boundaries of what it can do.

As an educator, I appreciate learning about ways that I can incorporate technological tools into education, but learning about them isn’t enough. I try to create better, more innovative ways to use them.

That’s my second passion. Creating.

I taught art for 24 years, and being creative is a part of who I am. When I’m not working, I’m holding a camera, a paintbrush, or a technological device of some kind.

As an art and technology teacher, I’ve never had a mandated curriculum. I worked in a college preparatory high school where my courses weren’t taken as seriously as the core subjects.  After all, students didn’t need art to get into college, or to succeed on the ACT or any other standardized test. They were the “fun” courses that students took when they didn’t want to study so hard. In my early years, I resented the stigma attached to the art room. But as the years progressed, I realized it was not a bad thing. There’s something innately therapeutic about art, and about technology. Both allow you to apply whatever skills you have to do amazing things and create.  And creating your own answers is always more fun than coming up with the same ones as everyone else.

It’s no coincidence that today’s global trends in technology education are heavily based on creating. Creating is, after all, at the highest order of thinking skills, as Benjamin Bloom indicated to us more than 60 years ago.  But these trends are also recognizing the importance of putting learning in the hands of students and getting away from the teacher-centered “sage on the stage”. Creative people are problem-solvers. And in a world where technology is changing every day, it’s important for us to prepare our students for anything.

The following are four tenets of my Personal Learning Manifesto, which is detailed in the video below.

  1. Learning never stops.
  2. Learning is its own reward.
  3. Learning must be experiential.
  4. Learning must be shared.

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