I’ve been trying to do something a little different: step away from the screen (which is inherently associated with work, work, work), get out of my box of a dormitory room (because, crap, it’s a mess), and get outside. Because it’s really starting to sink in that in less than two months, I’m going to leave. And, in the grand scheme of things, it’s really difficult to imagine when I’ll be in the neighborhood again. Because, if all goes well, I’ll be 1,000+ miles from the neighborhood.
That’s cause for a pause.
A big pause — the kind of pause where, on a sunny autumn afternoon, you sit on a hill and watch the sun creep towards setting. A pause to breathe and watch the sky and remind yourself how small and finite and precious you are. A reminder that you can only be in one place at one time.
And, while you can’t be in one place forever…maybe you can build something that will last.
In this class, over the past eight weeks, I’ve picked that up as a key lesson: building something that will last. Lifelong learning is, after all, a crucial component of digital literacy.
I’m not sure what I expected out of this class, to be honest. I was aware that it would involve blogging — although I didn’t know at the time how much I missed doing this — and creativity, and Twitter. I must admit that I’m still not sold on Twitter, but I do respect it more as a communication and creative medium now than I did. I’ve been able to keep up with those of you who are education majors better than I thought I would be able to, and I’ve found questions of education more engaging and applicable than I expected. I’ve been around education majors for long enough that none of the material was truly new to me, but I’ve actually enjoyed the chance to participate in the conversation.
It’s made me reevaluate my role as a teacher. Not – never – in the official, professional sense (and of course I say never, which is just inviting the universe to, like, roll her eyes – get a load of this kid here, ha – and throw me onto the path that’ll lead me to being, I dunno, some kind of crotchety and eccentric but helpful writing professor thirty years down the line), but rather in the role we all play – or should play – no matter our professions: to teach, not only those who come after us but also each other. And for those of you who are going to be teachers — you’re inspiring. I hope each and every one of you is successful in crafting excellent classrooms.
But this class has also made me realize something: the role of community in education. That the solution is not, has never been, to put the burden of change entirely on teachers. It’s on us, on all of us. Those kids, and those learners who aren’t kids, and those learners who are us? They’re our future. Our future. Not just the future of a specific sect of us. All of us. It’s the responsibility of all of us to make change. To commit ourselves to not only being lifelong learners, even after (finally) that diploma is in our tired hands (which don’t have carpal tunnel because we learned to take care of ourselves), but also to understanding in which environment learners grow best, and making sure that environment gets tended.
So, what about the next eight weeks of this class? I took a look at the upcoming modules, and I’m excited to get my hands on some digital storytelling, nervous in regards to what is this about disconnecting from tech and quitting the internet, and– oo, did I see the word poetry?
The two most challenging portions of this class have been Twitter and The Daily Create (I really gotta get going on that last one), and so I’m interested in getting better about those, and trying to put my finger on why these things are so difficult for me, because I think there’s something in there worth examining.
In any case, I look forward to spending the next half of the semester with all of you! May we all finish strong.