I attended my first ISTE last week in Philadelphia. It was large, constant, and rewarding. It was like a really great family reunion. ISTE is not about technology or Twitter follower counts. ISTE is about relationships and how we leverage those relationships as educators to move our schools and our country forward. In education, relationships and conversations are the two most important initiatives a school can employ.
In America, we find ourselves surrounded with tensions of inequality and social injustice. Although these issues may not have found their way to your classroom, our education system is where we begin to solve these issues regardless of the context. Rafranz Davis (@ RafranzDavis ) and Bob Dillon (@ ideaguy42) spoke of these inequalities and injustices in their powerful Ignite sessions. Their words were both powerful and timely. I encourage you to have a conversation with both of them and make Rafranz and Bob part of your connected network.
If our country is going to learn and heal from our troubled past, we must start in every American classroom. Every life, of every student in our country, matters. There are plenty of difficult conversations that need to happen and not only push our thinking forward, but also the thinking of our students. These conversations are not simply a trend or a policy that happens in the wake of a tragedy or an injustice; no, this is a shift in our entire culture. Ultimately, if we are not self-aware and mindful of the realities in our classrooms, and all classrooms, then we can never move forward.