Our Awesome Educator Community!
This weekend Kika and I attended edcampNYC. Edcamp, described as an “unconference”, is free and put together entirely by educators in different cities throughout the United States. This was my first edcamp and I really enjoyed the comfortable, supportive atmosphere. All attendees are invited to host workshops. It was acceptable to switch between workshops halfway through if you felt the need. When I met new people many asked “what do you teach?” as opposed to “what do you do?” How cool is it that this was the instinctive question to ask?
The teacher centered atmosphere made me think back to the Tom Whitby post I shared in the round up on Friday, titled Vendors: Villains or Visionaries? In it he discusses reservations that educators have with workshops run by vendors. I don’t consider myself a vendor, but of course I’m not a teacher and I do work for ShowMe, so this article provided some valuable insight. One point he makes really stuck with me “It has been my experience that the industry looks to recruit teachers whenever possible, so that their personnel do have classroom experience. Unfortunately, I think it takes about a year out of the classroom however, before credibility as a teacher is diminished if not wiped out altogether.”
I went to school for teaching and as a student teacher last year I was given full responsibility of my cooperating teachers’ classes and students. Regardless, I’m not in the classroom now, and because of that I can’t fully understand what is going on. We can’t learn what teachers and students find valuable unless we speak to them ourselves. That is why we so value the relationships we have with our teacher and student users. They are our gateway into what is actually going on in the classroom. This is also why I enjoyed edcamp and why you didn’t see any ShowMe workshops being offered. Although we’re always happy to host workshops, we were there to learn and build relationships.
In the past two months I have learned so much from the educators I speak to, either at conferences, over the phone or during school visits. Some teachers are doing amazing things in their classroom using ShowMe and other forms of educational technology. You’ve seen the posts our ambassadors share on this blog, great ideas that they’ve discovered themselves to make ShowMe a powerful tool. When we talk to other community members we like to share things that students and educators have done/do with ShowMe, not what they could do.
I may not be in the classroom this year, but I am thankful that we have so many active users that take the time to reach out to us, meet with us, and share their classroom insight and experiences. They are the reason ShowMe can be a valuable and relavant tool!