Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities, ISTE Standard for Educators, Personal Learning

ISTE19 BE BOLD BE YOU BE CONNECTED

#ISTE19 was no doubt one for the eduRecordBooks! Oh yes, it was the conference for every global #edtech inspired educator, but for me it was far more than that… it all goes back to relationships and the bold way of becoming a connected educator! Here is why ISTE got it so right with me… their BOLD mission statement empowered me to reach beyond my walls of learning and connect with countless educators of impact.

BE BOLD

The International Society for Technology in Education’s mission is very clear: “ISTE inspires educators worldwide to use technology to innovate teaching and learning, accelerate good practice and solve tough problems in education by providing community, knowledge and the ISTE Standards, a framework for rethinking education and empowering learners.”

That in itself is a mic drop… what a BOLD statement, right? That very mission captured my attention about 4 years ago. I knew at that point I was destined to be transformed as an educator. I immediately wanted to get to that year’s summer conference, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. However, the wait was well worth it in the long run. The thought of going one day ignited a passion and love for technology that would powerhouse my own learning in the BOLDest way possible! Who wouldn’t be intrigued by ISTE’s statement of, “BE BOLD WITH US. Dreaming big. Transforming teaching. Empowering learners”? In a 4 year period I collaborated with educators across the globe, grew as a learner, stretched myself as an educator, and was about to attend a conference that would place the foundation to this transformation all under one roof! Priceless!

BE YOU

BE YOU… I got this! Being me meant heading to this conference with an endless amount of hugs packed tightly in my suitcase. I was ready to meet the incredible people within my network face to face in place of our typical virtual connection. BE YOU… meant collaborating with my PLN and signing up for sessions, dinners, after dinner get-togethers, along with random happenings that we just had to embrace while in Philly! BE YOU… meant buying 80s gear to wear for the Go Guardian/Class Link night to remember, starring the The Spazmatics. This very night was one to remember… laughing, smiling and dancing the night away! BE YOU… meant leaning into my passions, my voice, my creative outlets, my joys and my people! Note: It takes most people a moment before they realize I am describing fabulous friends that I had just met face to face for the very first time. BE YOU… meant embracing my friends and acquiring new ones as the connections ran rapid throughout the conference. BE YOU… meant that I was able to embrace all things that resonated with me and the common thread would go back to the BOLD way that ISTE empowers learning with technology.

BE CONNECTED

To think that ISTE was my first face to face interaction with the majority of my PLN (yet I talk about them around the dinner table to the point that my entire family knows them, their spouses, and children by name) is mind-blowing! To be a connected educator has brought about a powerhouse of ideas, resources, support, innovation, empathy, understanding, goal-setting, and love that I personally could never imagine my life without ever again. And the crazy “ISTE connection” to this entire experience is technology! My invaluable relationships have formed through many platforms, and without technology most of them would not have transpired. Being connected as an educator has changed my world and that of my students on a daily basis.

There is no turning back now… it is more than infusing technology into my practice, it is using the technology as a vehicle to steer learning towards the future of education!

Kristen Nan #ISTE19

Don’t wait… get connected! Don’t overthink it, don’t belabor the task. Simply choose what works best for you and create your own opportunity to collaborate with others. Here are my top 15 go to ways to collaborate and connect with my PLN globally:

  1. Google Hangouts
  2. Skype
  3. Facetime
  4. Twitter
  5. Twitter Chats
  6. Hashtags
  7. Snapchat
  8. Instagram
  9. Facebook
  10. Voxer
  11. Texting/Calling
  12. Podcasts
  13. FlipGrid
  14. YouTube
  15. email (true story… we actually still use it! ha!)

Thank you, #ISTE19 for the opportunity to present to and with others, for the powerful learning, the memories made, connections fostered and the possibilities yet to come!

Personal Learning

L.E.G.I.T. Summer- LOCATE Coordinates

Here I am 3 weeks into summer vacation and I am finally starting to feel it unfolding. Maybe more like I’m settling in to the relaxed vibe that the word summer exudes.  When I think of a legit summer I think of the sun shining down on my face and the hours of the day getting mixed up in my mind where I start losing count until my stomach tells me it is past lunch or maybe even dinner.  Where no one seems to care how the day unfolds as long as we each have voice in the unfolding… where we meet each other where we are at.  Oh, the possibilities!  It’s been years since I had a summer opened up to possibilities, one that can refuel my passions and spark new ones along the way.  This is my summer!

Today starts my 5 week  L.E.G.I.T. Summer Journey with ME, MYSELF, and I.  This is what I need to be a better me.

A better me serves others greater.

A better me leads in an outstanding way.

A better me ignites the passion in my learning as well as others.

I need to remember how to find my joy, my smile, my heart, and simply my love for life.  Not that I lost it completely, but at times I find my own joy secondary when it is actually possible to nurture both at the same time.  As many know, this past year I lost my precious friend, my confidant, my mother in law, my go to person.  Some may think enough time has passed.  Many remind me she is in a better place so I should not feel so bad.  Some even think that it may be easier because I have the summer off to focus on relaxing and regrouping.  I only wish others would stop speaking for me.  Stop thinking for me.  Just stop.  I wish others would not try to remind me about the beautiful place she is in without me.  I miss her.  I am lost without her each day… especially on each family adventure because it is yet another “first” alone with the boys… all 4 of them, including my beloved father in law.  I am trying, but my girl is gone and I sit here alone in my thoughts trying to take in the goodness around me.  Trying to put on the smile that so easily swept my face when she was by my side.

My thoughts take me back to another person’s story.  When I first heard this young man speak, my heart ached for him.  I remember just wanting to hug him.  After losing mom, I went back to YouTube and searched for the video again.  Crazy how I thought he knew how I felt. Someone I had never met.  Never even talked to.  Yet, by sharing his story he entered my heart.  Just like him, I was jealous… she was gone from me. Happy.  Happy without me.   I found that this video met me where I was at… uncomfortably jealous, wishing the best that this world had to give, and yet knowing it was not enough.

Starting with the L in L.E.G.I.T. is what I need most, as that in itself can make or break anyone!

The L stands for: LOCATE their coordinates- meet them where they are at!

I chuckle at the thought… how do I meet myself where I am at if I don’t even know that answer myself?  I feel like my very own GPS has gone ROGUE and is spinning around  signaling that I am off the grid.  How do I locate myself?  To me it starts with one question!

What brings me joy?  When you think of the feelings that come with this one word, than you know why it starts right here.  If I can answer this question I will at least know where to start on this journey.

  1. Start simple.  As simple as fresh air… it clears my mind.  The kind that you get when you sit on your porch and sip your first cup of coffee in the morning.  The kind that you breath in when you are on a walk when there is barely a sign of life around you.  The kind that blows through your hair as you sit close by the water and allow your mind to drift off into the place that holds your heart… your soul.
  2. Laughing… I need people around me who lift me up with their simple abundance of joy.  My true person is silly.  Prior to the worries of others, I was a “jokester”, or maybe the joke!  I do not need a circus act, I just need life’s humor that reminds us to not take things so seriously.  I need those who don’t overthink my actions or attempt to outdo the ones around us, but just live in the moment… simple silly fun.
  3. Love… the kind that is unconditional.  The kind that allows me to be me and does not cast judgement.  The kind that doesn’t ridicule my passions, but steps out of the way so that I can relish in them.  The kind that puts their hand out and holds mine when I am a little unsteady.  The love that knows a hug solves most every problem.  The kind that I held on to my entire life, even when the darkness of clouds tried to threaten me with storms.  I will always reach out to goodness… it is my survival skill.  It is what created the person I am today.  The purest of love is true goodness.
  4. Growth… as much as I like to relax and take in the quiet beauty of nature, I must have opportunity around the bend for growth.  Whether I am headed to a conference, a workshop, reading a blog or an eduFAVE book, I need to be gaining ground in my own world.  I love to write.  It isn’t just a passion for me, it is a survival skill.  When I was a child I needed it.  I need ONE trusting “person” to pour my soul to.  I needed ONE “person” in my corner.  I needed “ONE” to tell me NEVER give up!  That I should dream… DREAM BIG and MAKE IT HAPPEN!   That ONE was my writing.  For me, keeping it in was debilitating.  Not letting it out in search of better was keeping me stagnant… being stagnant is suffocating for me.  I need to know there is more out there AND that with hard work I can obtain it.  When I write it, it becomes real and I own it.

These are my coordinates… Simple… Silly… Loving… Growth.  They are all built on relationships.  I am blessed with so many incredible people in my life.  Beyond family, I have the gift of my PLN/PLF.  My PLN meets me where I am at.  They accept me, push me, laugh with me, love me, grow with me, and celebrate with me!   Life is good.  #Tlap  #LeadLAP  #MasteryChat  #REALedu  #IMMOOC  #CelebratED  #JoyfulLeaders  #4OCFpln  #TeachBetter

What are your coordinates?  Share… tell your story.  Let’s meet and grow together!