Sunday, July 31, 2011

Creativity and Creative Learning

Yesterday I blogged about my thoughts on the Creativity Wheel, developed by a school in Durham, following the presentation by Dr Pam Burnard of Cambridge University at RSCON.  Today I'm thinking more about the presentation and about the movement and energy that Dr Burnard described which is redefining the nature of learning.  Dr Burnard talked about how creativity is good for economies, societies, communities, for re-engaging the disaffected, enhancing learning and improving teachers' practice.  She mentioned the many government policies in the UK on creativity, but was clear that creativity needs to happen with teachers "change from the inside" and not be imposed from the top.  Teachers in the UK are often getting mixed messages:  they know they need to increase creativity, but the emphasis is still on "the basics", SATs and ranking in league tables.  Often teachers don't really know which way to move.

Dr Burnard asked a couple of questions:

  • What does it mean to be a creative teacher?
  • Whose creativity is being expressed in the classroom?
She showed us a video made in conjunction with students at the Daubeney Primary School in Hackney and talked about how this school was rebranded through the students' voices.  At one time teachers didn't want to work at the school, so didn't stay there long - teachers had to be recruited from South Africa and Australia to fill the vacancies.  In this video the students themselves appealed directly to UK teachers to think about moving to this school.

Dr Burnard then showed a slide about what is involved in creativity in education:

How can teachers best encourage creativity?  Her reply was that standing back is important - we should not interrupt the students' creations but instead give them the time and space which is necessary for creativity.

She went on to show some examples on YouTube of teachers who have successfully integrated creativity into their programmes.  The first one was from Pete Dale who teaches at a very disadvantaged school in Newcastle where over 70% of the students are reading at least a year below their chronological age and where 80% of the families are in the "Hard Pressed" category through unemployment.  Pete came up with a new music project to work with students and their interest in rappers and turntables.  He mapped the skills of rappers and DJs and aligned them with the traditional music curriculum.  By breaking into the curriculum in a transformative way, he has empowered the students and changed the experience of school for these boys.

Another teacher which has transformed the music curriculum of a school, leading to over 300 students opting to take music is Shannon Rogers.  Here is what her students are doing:

Another example that was shared by one of the teachers participating in the session was the video on using iPads to create music, embedding mobile and digital media into the lessons:

All these examples have shown teachers authoring change from inside the classroom and including the student voices in shaping the curriculum to make learning more creative.

Photo Credit:  Summer's Mandala by Cobalt123 AttributionNoncommercial 

Providing Opportunities for using Feedback

Teachers give feedback to help students learn - it's intended to be formative - yet students also expect to be given feedback after summative assessments too.  This is only useful if students then have the opportunity to use it.  Sometimes students want to redo the same work again, taking account of the feedback.  As a teacher I've often thought we should allow students to do this - if we don't we are giving them the message that we are "done" with the learning for that particular unit or topic which is not really a message we want to be giving.  However it's hard to reassess an assignment that has been "fixed" by the student following a teacher's comments:  does this really show what the student has been able to achieve, or does it merely show that the student has been successful in following the teacher's instructions?

Feedback from summative assessment is probably best used on future, similar assignments as this will show whether or not the students have actually mastered something and have been able to extend their learning.  This means the teacher must provide another opportunity for students to use the feedback.  As Susan M. Brookhart says,  "Feedback from one report can help the student with the next report, only if there is a next report."

Photo credit:  First grade reading - small group breakout by Woodleywonderworks Attribution 

Feedback Strategies

I'm continuing to read my summer reading book from school about feedback and I'm now on the section that deals with different feedback strategies.

Timing - it's best to give immediate feedback so that students can use it, while they are still working towards their learning goal and so that they have time to act on the feedback.  Feedback about a topic that has already finished is pointless.

Amount - teachers often want to "fix" everything when they give feedback, but it's best to give just enough feedback so that students know what they need to do, but not enough so that the work has actually been done for them.  Effective feedback gives a usable amount of information to students, connecting with what they already know and letting them know what they need to do to move onto the next level.  Comments need to encourage students to think about their learning, but also to show that the next step is within their grasp.

Mode - sometimes it's best to give written feedback, sometimes oral and sometimes demonstrations.  Often the best feedback is through conversations with the student.

Audience - feedback about individual work should be addressed to individual students but sometimes the message is relevant to a whole group of students.  Providing feedback to the whole class or to a group of students can take the form of a mini-lesson or review.

Feedback about the task involves giving information about both the errors or misconceptions and the depth and quality of the work.  However feedback about the task may not transfer to other tasks, therefore often the feedback that contributes most to learning is feedback about the process used to do the task.  When you talk to students about how they approached the task it lets them see the link between their efforts and the quality of their performance and in this way it helps students learn how to learn.  It also allows students to understand that their achievements are related to specific strategies they are using and that the effort they put in is under their control - achievement is related to what they did rather than to their ability - and this increases their confidence in themselves as learners.

Often feedback involve comparing students with a standard or a learning target.  Comparing students or ranking them in relation to each other is not useful as it reinforces the false idea that ability rather than effort is important and can be a demotivator for students who have not been very successful.  Pointing out what is poor or wrong without offering suggestions for improvement is not helpful feedback - being positive involves pointing out what where improvement is needed and suggesting what students can do to get better.   As mentioned in a previous post, the best feedback is descriptive - even criticism, if it is given in a descriptive way and not a judgmental way, will be constructive as it describes what can be done and what strategies will lead to improvement of the work.

Photo from the World Bank Photo Collection AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Butterfly Effect of the 30 Goals Challenge

Although I've never met Shelly in person, I feel confident in saying she is one of the most inspiring educators on this planet!  I've connected with her through Twitter, by following her blog and watching her videos on YouTube - and today I got to attend her session on the 30 Goals Challenge at RSCON.  Shelly's presentation was moving - she speaks from the heart when she talks about her father changing the history of her family by ensuring all 5 of his daughters graduated from college and about how the 30 Goals Challenge has changed the lives of teachers and students worldwide.

Shelly started her presentation talking about how she first started the 30 Goals Challenge herself.  She mentioned that although she had only recently started blogging and using Twitter, she decided to make a list of all the goals she wanted to achieve and then share them online using social media with members of her PLN.  What started as 30 short term goals to be accomplished during January 2010, has since become a larger year long challenge for over 6,000 educators who work on 30 larger, practical goals during a school year.

Shelly talked about what she first called the ripple effect of other educators joining her - what she now terms the butterfly effect after reading about the MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz who talked about small events having large, widespread consequences.  He suggested that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Brazil might set off a tornado in Texas.

Shelly told us that as educators everyday we can make a change that can have a huge impact - we went into education because we wanted to have this impact, because we were passionate about change, because we believed that education could change the world.  Today, sadly, many educators around the world are burned out by policy, politics, bureaucracy and so on, and her wish is that by doing the 30 Goals Challenge we will rediscover our beliefs in our power to create change.  She pointed out that even if we achieve only a few of these goals, it's better than doing nothing.  She quoted from Sydney Smith:
It's the greatest mistake of all to do nothing because you can only do a little.
Shelly used social media as her way of reaching out to other educators to join her in her challenge.  She pointed out that 997,000 educators are using LinkedIn and that 2 billion people a day use YouTube - social media is a powerful tool for spreading your message.  Now Shelly has also written a book - to reach a different audience - the educators who don't yet use social media.  She describes the book as being like a work book, or a paper blog.

When Shelly first started her 30 Goals Challenge in January 2010 she used her blog and Twitter to reach out.  This year she has video blogged each goal and encouraged others to do the same.  Some educators have made podcasts about their goals and it's not just teachers - principals and students have joined in too.

Shelly's message to us all is Goal #30: pass on your passion.  We have the ability to touch not only students, but also parents, principals and politicians.

Click here to go to the 30 Goals 2011

Photo by ***Images***  AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike 

The Creativity Wheel

Today I've been participating in RSCON (the Reform Symposium Conference) which has meant that I've had amazing professional development without even leaving home.  For most of the day I've been barefoot and sitting at the kitchen table (eating lunch/supervising my daughter cooking) or sitting on the couch.  In the coming days I will post about all the amazing sessions I've attended, but this session is about a link I followed after this afternoon's keynote from Dr. Pam Burnard of Cambridge University who was presenting Creativity and Creative Learning:  Redefining the Future of Learning.

Pam shared with us a link to the Creativity Wheel, developed by a school in Durham in collaboration with teachers and pupils.  Teachers filled out a questionnaire to assess current creative development and were released from their classrooms to observe colleagues which helped them to develop a shared vision.  Students were also asked to explore creativity and for their ideas about creativity.

The Creativity Wheel was developed as a way of sharing goals with the students and so that they could be involved in ongoing assessment.  It is used as a planning tool for teachers so that they can develop appropriate experiences to promote and develop creative behaviour.  The Wheel is used in all subjects - not just the ones that have traditionally been thought of as "creative".

The Wheel has 3 different sections and below are screenshots from Dr Burnard's presentation:
1.  Imagination with purpose

This is defined as imaginative activity directed at achieving an objective - having a purpose and taking action to pursue it.

2. Originality

Students tackle questions, solve problems and have ideas that are genuinely new to them - original ideas are the result of creative behaviour.

3.  Value

Imaginative activity is only creative if it has value and satisfies what the student has set out to achieve.

These graphics are quite small, but you can find a link to the wheel on page 11 of this document.

More on the rest of this keynote coming soon!

"Nothing on the internet is written in pencil"

Today I've been participating in RSCON3.  This is an excellent, free, online global education conference connecting more than 8,000 educators worldwide.  The first session I participated in today was presented by Will Deyamport and was entitled What happens online stays on Google:  how to develop and protect your online brand.

Will explained that your brand is your digital footprint and represents who you are, what you are and what you have to offer.  It reflects your values, interests and passions, whether you are active or idealistic.  It shows what you have to offer, your skills and the things that make you special.

It is the things that you choose to communicate that tells the world who you are and what you have to offer.  This includes pictures, video, sites or groups you choose to join and the people you associate with there, for example who you follow on Twitter.  These are the things people first see if they do a Google search for your name.  It's the first impression that people have of you - and this is what builds your reputation in the online world.  Everything you do online creates a positive or negative image of you.

Will gave us some rules to live by:  
He suggested using the same picture and bio on every site. He talked about the importance of  choosing a professional email address - if possible use your name - for example on GoDaddy you can create your own email address or even your own URL for almost nothing.  Be mindful of what pictures and texts you post or send.  You want to put together a cohesive package of who you are.  A picture is worth a thousand words so you don't want people finding embarrassing videos or photos of yourself in unsuitable clothing or drinking alcohol or in bars or clubs.  Of course there should be no sexting, sex-tweeting or flirting online - remember anyone can copy and paste what you post and these things can often be found, even after you think you have deleted them.  All these things can negatively affect your personal brand.  On sites like Twitter you should be aware of who is following you too (and what they look like!).

What you should do to promote your personal brand?
Be authentic.  Post pics and videos of your teaching, presenting at a workshop or conference or volunteering at school events - with permission and inline with your community standards.

How do you find out what your personal brand is?  
Google yourself, create a Google profile and link it to other sites about you or created by you. Remove unwanted content.  You can remove a page from a Google search result and you can get notified when your personal data appears on the web.  A good place to go to do this is
Me on the Web which will show you how to create alerts using the Google Dashboard and remove a page from Google Search results.

This is an important topic and one we have to get across to our students who are probably more likely than us to be posting inappropriate content on the internet that could later be found by future employees or universities.  Students need to remember to respect themselves and others.

Photo Credit:  Footprint by Raul Lieberwirth AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works 

Friday, July 29, 2011

The "double-barreled" effect of formative feedback

This holiday we have been given a book to read about feedback on students' work and this morning I read through the first chapter.  As an information and communication teacher, I've found the best way of improving the IT skills of our teachers is to give "just in time" support.  It's no surprise, therefore, that the most effective feedback that can be given to students is also "just in time" formative feedback that addresses:

  • What knowledge and skills need to be developed
  • How close the student is to this goal
  • What the student needs to do next to achieve the goal
Essential giving good feedback will enable the students to come up with their own learning goals and plans of how they will achieve them.

The title of this post refers to two effects of good formative feedback: on the performance and the motivation of the students.  Students need to know where they are in their learning and also feel they have control in how they move forward - only when they have this control will they be motivated.

The first chapter deals with constructive criticism - students need to feel that this is a good thing and that they will only learn by practice.  They won't get everything "right" first time, so feedback need to come at a time when they the opportunity to use it - not at the end of the assignment or as part of the final evaluation.

Clearly not all feedback is effective.  Teacher feedback needs to combine with the student's own self evaluation to help students to decide how close they are to meeting their learning goals and what they need to do to move forward:
  • Feedback about the task or the process:  this is the most helpful form of feedback
  • Feedback about the student's ability as a learner:  can be effective and lead to greater attention or effort
  • Feedback about the student as a person (for example "good girl"): is not effective as it does not draw attention to the learning.
Over the past year of so I've read many blog posts about grades -v- comments - all have suggested that comments are more effective for learning than simply giving grades but one of the sections I read today discusses the fact that comments are not always effective.  Some comments are evaluative or judgmental and so are not as helpful in terms of feedback as descriptive comments.  Students who receive descriptive comments tend to go on to perform better and be more motivated than those who receive grades.  Descriptive comments therefore have been called "double-barrel" feedback as they influence both performance and motivation and this is especially true if the descriptive comment is not accompanied by a grade.  In the case of both a grade and a comment, students tend to pay more attention to the grade and ignore the comment.  So if teachers want students to read and pay attention to the comments, it's better if they are the only form of feedback.

Photo Credit:  Panel feedback:  pie chart by Brandon Schauer  AttributionShare Alike 

Replacing Textbooks with Digital Content

Last year I was contacted by a Norwegian educator and asked to take a look at digital textbooks that were being developed in Norway.  Having been in a 1:1 tablet school previously in Asia, I was interested to look at these - our students had accessed digital media via the school's Sharepoint portal rather than by using digital textbooks.  Today I was reading an article in Education Week about how South Korea is to replace all paper textbooks with digital content accessed using tablet PCs (to read the article in full you will need to register with Education Week).  I was interested to read about how South Korea, as well as other countries in Asia such as Japan and Singapore, are forging ahead with touch screen technology for primary students.

Studies show that on-screen reading has a positive effect on literacy:

The 2009 OECD study says there's a positive relationship between students' use of computers at home for leisure and their digital navigation skills. "Proficient digital readers tend to know how to navigate effectively and efficiently," the study said.
The study said students who read online more frequently also read a greater variety of print material and report higher enjoyment of reading itself.
Photo Credit:  Drawing with finger by Long Zheng AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Queen Bee

Yesterday I flew home after my summer in the UK.  As I got onto the plane I was handed a copy of the Daily Mail.  This wouldn't have been my newspaper of choice, but since it was all I had to read on the plane I skimmed through it.  One of the stories was entitled "Why a female boss can be a woman's worst nightmare".  I started to think about how this relates to teaching.

At the 2 schools I worked in the UK, all the "bosses" were men.  In these secondary schools there was a Headmaster and either 2 or 3 Deputy Heads.  I'm trying to remember the male/female balance of teaching staff in these schools - I think it was fairly even.  Even back in the 1980s, teaching wasn't seen as one of the top professions to go into after university and probably attracted more women graduates than men, however the balance of men to women at the top was, in my district, in the ratio of 20:1.

When I moved overseas it was my first experience of PK-12 schools.  I'd never worked in a primary school in the UK, but my impression was that they were mostly dominated by women teachers - this was also true of the primary sections of the international schools where I have worked so I would have expected to see more women in positions of leadership in those schools. Of the 4 primary school Heads I've worked for, half were women.  In the international secondary schools where I've worked only 1 out of the 11 secondary heads has been a woman.  In the position of Director, only 1 out of my 7 Directors has been a woman.  It's therefore hard to know if the generalisations mentioned in the article about working for women are valid in schools, since I've had relatively little experience of working for women in these positions.

The main point of the article was to talk about the position of Queen Bee - someone who has worked her way up to the top in a male-dominated organisation by behaving like a man and who is not sympathetic with other women who are seen as "not strong enough".  Typically these women have sacrificed their own private life to get where they are and are not sympathetic to women who put their homes and families first.  These Queen Bees are also seen as less likely to mentor younger women, apparently they often see them as threats.  Canadian and German studies have shown that women who work for women have higher cases of depression, headaches, heartburn and insomnia than those who work for men.  Research has also shown that men who report to a female manager get more mentoring and support than their female colleagues.  Before I read the article I'd never heard of the Queen Bee syndrome, but it is interesting - I can certainly see that it explains the behaviour of some of the women I've worked for.  Generally, though, I have to say I have found most of my women colleagues to be extremely understanding and supportive and I have been able to grow professionally as a result of this support.

After considering if this was true in my experience of teaching, I started to reflect on my role as a teacher in previous schools with the girls in my IB and A'Level classes.  Have I been guilty of pushing the girls harder than the boys?  Teaching a subject that has traditionally been more popular with boys I've often only had 1 or 2 girls in these classes, yet I've always been very conscious of trying extra hard to encourage the girls.  Despite the fact that the girls were outnumbered by the boys, they often out-perfomed them.  Was this because I was "tougher" on them?  Was it because I let them get away with less than the boys?  And if this was the case, did this do the girls more good than harm?

Photo Credit:  Princess Today, Queen Tomorrow? by Carterse Attribution 

Action in the PYP: Moving Towards the "I Can"

Action is one of the Five Essential Elements of the PYP written curriculum.  Last week I was explaining this to my cousin in England, who is not a teacher, and we were discussing how even very young children can take action following their inquiries.  Making the PYP Happen states:
PYP schools can and should meet the challenge of offering all learners the opportunity and the power to choose to act; to decide on their actions; and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world.
As the above TEDtalk from Kiran Bir Sethi shows, saying "I can" involves 3 steps - seeing the change (in this case the students felt what it was like to be child labourers), changing themselves and their thinking and then being empowered to lead the change in others.  This process draws on the PYP attitude of empathy (imagining themselves in another's situation in order to understand his or her reasoning and emotions so as to be open-minded and reflective about the perspectives of others) and the attitude of confidence (having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices).

Then I started reflecting on something I wrote in a post last week.  Rather than saying I can, I actually said I can't.  What I wrote was that, for various reasons, I could not turn the IT around in my current school.  But now I have come to see that I need a different perspective on it.  What I am doing is reacting which is based on my feelings (mostly feeling helpless to change anything).  What I need to do is to respond, which is based not on feeling but on thinking.  Rather than saying "I can't ...." what I need to say instead is "I haven't yet ...."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tech Savvy Leaders -v- Lead Learners

Today I have been reading the Powerful Learning Practice blog discussion about how tech savvy all principals should be and how they should be taking on the role of lead learners in our 21st century schools, understanding the needs of students and teachers in order to prepare them for the future.

Lyn Hilt, who wrote the post, draws from Marc Prensky’s book Teaching Digital Natives stating that it is more important for teachers to become comfortable with a different pedagogy, than with the new technology itself.  This involves empowering students to collaborate and to create using tools of their choice, in particular social media tools, which implies that school leaders have to consider the learning environments in place in their schools.

The IB Primary Years Programme encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning through inquiry.  As an information and communication teacher I see my role as encouraging students in their research and in helping them to discover the most effective ways of sharing their learning.  More and more I’m asking them to make their own choices about the resources and tools they use for their inquiries.  But reading this post I feel I need to do more. 

One of the things I’m reflecting on is how the teaching role is now becoming more of a partnership – between myself and the classroom teachers in setting up the right learning environment for these inquiries to take place, and between the homeroom teachers and the students as the teachers offer suggestions and guidance during the inquiry process.  What I see also needs to happen is that there needs to be a partnership between the administration and the teachers to develop a shared vision about what true inquiry looks like and how the needs of the students involved in the inquiries can be best met.  Support for mentoring and coaching, for in-school professional development and for building a professional learning network or community are all a part of this partnership so that teachers can develop new pedagogies to take account of the new technologies that students are using.

The idea of sharing is very important.  Developing a shared vision can only come about by listening to all those involved and by encouraging them to share with others.  Recently I was involved in leading a PYP workshop in Paris.  Feedback from the participants made me realize how valuable sharing my professional practice with them was – and sharing this knowledge was also extremely valuable for me as it allowed me to “dig deeper” into what I was doing.  In preparing for this workshop I had to revisit again the whys (the philosophy underpinning the PYP), the whats and the hows (the theory and practice).  Writing a blog allows me to think deeper too.  The feedback, challenges and support I have received from those who have read my various posts have led to more reflection about my own practice – I have become a better teacher by sharing what I do with others.

I am hopeful that the newly created Tech Director position at our school will attract someone who will be promoting new learning and pedagogy.  Perhaps we will be able to start looking at the NETS for administrators and teachers which include, among others, standards for digital age learning and culture and digital citizenship.  For me a lead learner is one who is not just encouraging his or her teachers to reach out to other teachers using social media such as blogging, twitter, wikis and so on, but one who is actively modeling the use of these as learning, communication and sharing tools within and outside the school community.  To me, a lead learner is one who is looking at how we can use these powerful tools to transform student learning opportunities too.  Being tech savvy is not really enough, leadership involves more than just walking the talk, it involves walking with others on their learning journey too.

Photo Credit:  70 kites on a single line by Rona Proudfoot AttributionShare Alike 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Teaching with Attitude

While recognizing the importance of knowledge, concepts and skills, these alone do not make an internationally minded person. It is vital that there is also focus on the development of personal attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning, attitudes that contribute to the well-being of the individual and of the group. (Making the PYP Happen)
It has been two weeks now since I’ve officially been “on holiday”.  Two weeks to unwind after the last school year, to consider what I have done, what I have not done, where I am and where I want to be.  The past two years have seen me more dissatisfied with my performance than at any time in the 23 years I’ve been in international education.  I’ve been asking myself why this is and what I can do about it.  I am facing another year in my current school and I want to get through it with a more positive attitude.  Friends, colleagues have told me the way to do this is to lower my expectations, that I am aiming too high for my current school, that I should focus just on the things I can do with the teachers I work with and the students I teach and not worry too much about the big picture, the direction the school is heading and the things I cannot influence.  Basically this amounted to telling me I should be aiming lower and that I would feel a sense of achievement when I reached those lower goals.  I’ve been trying to take that advice and to do that for the past 6 months, but it doesn’t sit well with me – there’s no challenge in that, no satisfaction in it for me.  At the end of the year I don’t feel like celebrating the small achievements - I hate being mediocre when I know I can be good!  I hate moving backwards or even standing still, when I know that we need to be moving forwards.  And although I know my colleagues support me, although I know they think their students are learning new things and developing the skills they will need for the future, I look at what I have been able to do in the past and compare it with what I’m able to do now and all I see is a great big gap.  I once said I was able to turn the IT around in any school, now I see it is not possible, not here, not now, and because of that I know that for my own sense of self-worth I need to move on – and I have tried, but at the end of the year I am still here.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger I’ve heard.
Buying –v- Training:  Discussions at the end of the year focused on what new technology we were going to buy.  I’ve never been one for these sorts of meetings since I believe discussions about student learning have to come first: What do the students need?  How can technology support those needs? How can we train the teachers so that they can empower students to use this technology?  Having technology in the classrooms doesn’t mean it’s being used effectively – instead of buying more perhaps we should concentrate on using what we have really well?  Rather than talking about what “stuff” to buy perhaps we could have discussed employing an extra person whose entire focus could be on integration and empowering the teachers and students to go further, to use the technology to transform teaching and learning rather than just to enhance it, to see technology as a goal, not just as a tool.
Control –v- Education:  Too many of the discussions we had in the latter part of the year were about control.  Of course students need to be safe. I believe the best way to keep them safe is through education not through control.   This education needs to be about the technology they have in the classroom, the technology they have at home and the technology they are carrying around in their pockets – and therefore this education involves parents as well as the students themselves.  Every inappropriate incident we dealt with last year happened out of school.  Blocking or controlling at school doesn’t deal with these issues at all.
Network –v- Cloud:  Our biggest successes last year were introducing Web 2.0 tools such as Google Apps for Education and Skype to our students – these allowed real-world collaboration in and outside of school and made the learning more authentic.  Very little was saved over the school network on the school servers.  Again, the issue of monitoring/control was raised at the end of the year.  Again I feel this is a matter of education.  The future is mobile, the future is in the cloud, we need to educate our children about being responsible digital citizens, about what is appropriate for the future.
The Present –v- The Future:  This is really what it all comes down to on both a personal and a professional level.  I need to focus more on the future instead of getting bogged down with the present.  I need a vision of where I want to be and a plan of how to get there.  I need commitment and perseverance as I work towards this vision, I need confidence in my abilities and courage to make the right decisions, I need to teach with attitude.
 Photo Credit:  Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Mount Baldy by Drewski Mac AttributionShare Alike