If you ask me, there’s no better way to kick off the New Year than to spend time growing and learning with colleagues as a professional community. That’s why this past Monday, January 2nd, was such a special treat. Jenison junior and senior high teachers had the privilege of listening to Mr. Kevin Honeycutt, a nationally respected keynote speaker and educator who challenged us to consider the digital worlds in which many of our children live—and the digital skills demanded by the job markets into which they will be entering as adults.
With a moving personal history, compelling stories of his own childhood and time in the classroom, Mr. Honeycutt pushed us to consider new strategies and loftier ideals. He probed with questions that had us thinking twice:
- Children, teens, and young adults are playing on a “digital playground.” Are there enough “playground supervisors” to make it not only a safe experience—but a beneficial one?
- How many of us adults would feel lost without our laptops, cell phones, or digital organizers? Is it appropriate to ask kids, then, to leave their “digital appendages” at home when coming to school? Is there a way to leverage the most powerful computing equipment that our world has ever known—and use it for amazing learning opportunities?
After this exciting and thought-provoking presentation, teachers had the afternoon to learn from their district community about topics such as Google documents, flip cameras and their uses in the classroom, blogging, “bell ringers” (ideas for engaging students in the minutes before/after the bell rings), the electronic library, and understanding the iPad.
We are blessed to not only have had a rich day of learning, but that so many of our educators were willing to participate in the teaching and presenting. It reminds me that our staff is giving and supportive, seeking to partner with their fellow educators in any way they can so that kids will benefit.
Because at the end of the day, that’s why we do it.
We do it for the kids.
Check back tomorrow for more wonderful photos of our PD Day!