Thursday, March 21, 2013

What I Learned from the 20 to Watch

I was honored beyond words to be included in this year's "20 to Watch" by the National School Boards Association. I was invited to attend the CoSN conference in San Diego last week and participate in several events designed for the "20 to Watch". It was an amazing and humbling experience to talk with these exceptional educators. Over the course of several conversations with these leaders in educational technology from across the country, some trends emerged. Here's what I learned from chatting with these awesome folks.

Push the Envelope

Almost all of the "20" described themselves as people who push the envelope, challenge others, push buttons, move people outside of their comfort zones, and sometimes annoy people with their persistence in challenging boundaries. These folks are naturally curious about educational technology and are passionate about sharing that curiosity with others. They also tend to constantly be on the lookout for innovative tools and practices, thinking about ways to implement them in their settings and get other people on board.


None of these educators accomplished the great things for which they were recognized alone. They realize the power of tapping into the expertise of others and focus on building capacity in those around them. Efforts that change schools and districts do not succeed or fail on one person. They require teams of educators working toward common goals. These "20 to Watch" educators have the ability to bring people together and empower them to do the important work that needs to be done.

Know Technology and Pedagogy

To be an educational technology leader, it isn't enough to just know technology. Each of the "20 to Watch" could talk at great length about the latest technologies and their implications. More importantly, though, these folks understand the complex ways in which technology can be used to develop curriculum, enhance and support pedagogy, engage and motivate students, and increase learning. It's apparent that these educators are leading their schools and districts in instructional technology efforts due to their understanding of the intersection between technology, teaching, and learning.

Connecting with these "20 to Watch" was life-changing for me. I'm grateful to have these folks as part of my PLN and be able to call on them when I need them. If you'd like to connect with them, most of them are on Twitter. You can connect with them here.

No comments:

Post a Comment