"Too often we are so preoccupied with the destination, we forget the journey."
This past week I received an email telling me I had been selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator, class of 2009! After a lot of hard work, (although admittedly I've only scratched the surface) the efforts I have put into integrating technology into my classroom and in my school has resulted in this amazing opportunity.
A couple weeks ago I had commented to my colleague Terry Kaminski that while I would be disappointed if I wasn't selected, the process of application was a powerful learning experience. So the journey of reflection began and I set out to apply to be an Apple Distinguished Educator.
I owe this opportunity to my students who have become my guinea pigs when I get crazy ideas for teaching with technology. My colleagues "in house" have given me invaluable advice and a place to talk my ideas through. To Twitter, Google Docs, RSS, Voicethread, Animoto, and all of the web 2.0 tools: thanks! To the new colleagues I have joined to create powerful learning opportunities for my students in Language Arts and Multimedia, your contributions have been invaluable.
Mostly, as many out there have already commented, it is the interconnected HUMAN interactions across the globe which make us better teachers. They remind us that that the internet and web 2.0 tools are just pencils and hammers that are useless without proper application in the hands of students with solid pedagogical foundations. It takes the creative teacher to find ways to incorporated it seamlessly into their teaching and to make it meaningful to students.
Here's to the unlimited realms of learning that will, and to the new additions to our personal learning networks that happen every day. I am very excited to have a new cadre of people within the ADE Group to share and learn with.