Sunday, June 23, 2013

To Boldly Use the Force to Live Long and Prosper

Greetings Education Galaxy-

I'm going to take a break from my technology pedagogy tonight.  I had to work out some of my inner nerd.  I'm sure I'm not the first person or the last to ever do what I'm about to do, but oh well.  Tonight I want to prove that the countless hours I have spent being a sci-fi nerd were not in vain.  Here are the lessons Star Wars and Star Trek have taught me and how I apply them to teaching:

 "The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock
Teacher Translation:  Do what is best for your students, not teachers, not yourself.

"Do or do not, there is no try."
Teacher Translation:  Effort is meaningless.  Things either happen or they don't.  Choose to make them happen.

"Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is."
Teacher Translation:  None.  Yoda said this one.

"Pass on what you have learned."
Teacher Translation:  Anything you keep to yourself helps no one else.

"I don't believe it."  
"That is why you fail."
Teacher Translation:  Believe in your students, believe in yourself, and believe that what you are doing is important.  It's not half the battle, it is the battle

"But good words. That’s where ideas begin."
Teacher Translation:  Discussion, collaboration, conversation, and expression are the precursors to progress.

Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. 
Teacher Translation:  Learn from your mistakes, from your failures, from your shortcomings.  When you get knocked down, come back stronger and wiser than before.

"You will find that it is you who are mistaken... about a great many things."
Teacher Translation:  You know what they say about people who assume.  We don't know everything, so keep your eyes and ears open.  There are possibilities that you haven't considered.

"I'm a doctor, not an engineer."
Teacher Translation:  There are things that other people are better at than you.  The same goes that you are better than others at some things.  Trust others to help you and help others when you can.  Collaboration is key.

"In this galaxy there’s a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all that, and perhaps more...only one of each of us." 
Teacher Translation:  We're all special.  Everyone deserves our best.

"It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life."
Teacher Translation:  Sometimes we think we have a lesson figured out perfectly, we teach it exactly how we  want, and it still goes awry.  Win the next one.

Teacher Translation:  Everything you do should continue to hold your students' attention and as much as possible, entertain.  

So while so many of you folks are sitting on your laptops, your tablets, your smart phones, etc. at ISTE13, I thought I'd give you some food for thought.  Being a geek is so useful.

I'll leave you with one final quote from Captain Picard.  When it comes to new technology, new strategies, new ideas, or just something awesome you want to do for kids, follow his famous words...

"Make it so."

Second star to the right, and straight on until morning,

Mr. J.

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