Saturday, February 5, 2011
Why ISTE? Why Now?
I've never been much of a joiner, preferring to go my own way without reference to a "party line."
Since (semi-)retiring from my position as a teacher/librarian, I've reconsidered this stance and now maintain membership in a few organizations. Of these groups, I am convinced that ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education, offers the most significant opportunity for effective change in education.
With the specter of deep cuts across disciplines and job titles, it is imperative that educators take every opportunity to update their skills, thereby proving their relevance and value...not just as window dressing, but as an obligation, in order to best serve the learners with whom they interact.
As a late adopter myself, I understand the fear that this prospect can engender in an established professional. The key is to remember that, in the world of technology, there is room for learners. Further, it is impossible to be an expert in everything. Sharing, collaborating, and creating must be the province of both "teacher" and "student," with these roles shifting back and forth in a facilitated, co-learning climate.
ISTE is uniquely positioned to sustain interactive, supportive experiences, offering Special Interest Groups (SIGs), Communities, professional development resources, and numerous other research and evaluation tools. It provides a vibrant environment in which all learners may thrive.
We owe it to our students to be able to help them locate and access appropriate technology at time of need. As an ISTE member, education professionals can feel more confident that they will be able to deliver this crucial service.
Full Disclosure: I have submitted an application for nomination to the ISTE Board. This is no guarantee that I will be chosen to run for office. However, going through the submission process has helped me to clarify my thoughts about the value of ISTE membership.
"circle of people" by PLCMC training account