When the Rolling Stones released this song in 1964, I’m pretty sure they were not referring to teachers. Time is the largest road block when it comes to education. I hear this all the time; “There is never enough time for ________.” (Feel free to fill in the blank with any of your favorites here.)
It’s true! There are only so many student days, so many professional development days, there is only enough time to get to this amount of curriculum, and don’t forget adding in some snow days (especially this year in the northeast) to our already packed school calendar. So how in the world do we keep up with the ever changing world of technology and have meaningful discussions around best practices in education if there is never enough time? It’s a tough question to answer.
In all honesty it usually comes down to making it a priority, which is often an individual decision. It was the very reason why I had taken a break from blogging for a while. In my head it wasn’t a priority for me any more. I wasn’t sure the amount of time I spent on it was worth it. Of course, I quickly realized that I was missing a true time to reflect on my own learning and assist other educators with strategies for attacking meaningful professional development as well.
Presenting at conferences and workshops has proven to have its advantages for sure. It keeps me connected with the latest trends, software developments, the next big innovative approach to tech in education. I also meet some amazing educators that then stay in touch via Twitter and Google+. I certainly value my Professional Learning Network (PLN), and it can be a huge time saver when I run into a problem, or need some quick advice about something as well. This reflection process and willing to discuss ideas outside of my classroom though is a priority of mine. I often find myself on Twitter or Google+ at night chiming in on discussions, or reading what others have published to pick up some good ideas all outside of my contracted time of work.
I believe the great educators all take time out of their personal lives to better themselves in their career as well. I love the quote, “Being a teacher isn’t what I do; it’s who I am.” I’m not positive who said it first (there is some debate out there on the Internet about it), but it certainly rings true for me. Now, I’m all about balance in life whether you are talking about diet, relationships, personal vs. professional life, screen time, etc. so I’m not stating that all good educators should take time each night and abandon their family to learn something on Twitter. I am saying that I believe in making learning in your own life a priority though. When and where you choose to engage in it is completely up to you.
Google comes out with updates all the time. In fact, it is possible that while I wrote this blog Google released three updates to their GSuite of apps. How is it possible that we expect teachers to keep up then? I’m not sure that even I myself could read all of Alice Keeler’s (@alicekeeler) amazing posts about Google Classroom each day. I do believe though, that it is my job to keep educators up to date on the most important things, especially those within my own district. The technologies that will help them enhance their lessons, complete their work more efficiently, and ultimately save them the all important time!
Therefore I did some exploration of the new feature Explore myself, along with my fabulous tech team, and created a couple of short videos showcasing some amazing uses for this new feature in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. We had already touched upon this in our previous video (and blog post) about slides called, Pimp My Slides, so here are two new video tutorials Exploring Docs and Sheets. I hope these short video tutorials saves you some time, and you enjoy them as we certainly did making them.