In my Learning Manifesto I compare providing students with personalized learning experiences to finding a good pair of running shoes. After all, a one-size-fits-all education system is about as effective as a shoe store that only sells one shoe: it does not prepare its user for future success.
In my early days as a teacher I was full of enthusiasm and energy. My students did everything from publishing their own newspaper to starting a student government to re-writing (and performing) the 12 Days of Christmas as a rap. None of those things were in the scope and sequence. Today's teachers struggle to exercise their passion for teaching within the constraints of the current system. My innovation plan addresses this by bringing project based learning back into the classroom.
As passionate as I am about the opportunities that digital learning brings to the table, I also realize that technology is no substitute for an engaged and creative teacher. Some see technology use as just replacing a paper/pencil task with a digital one, and unfortunately that is sometimes the case. My belief as a technology integration specialist is that technology is to be used to enhance and modify learning, to engage students with information in a way that could never be done before, to teach students how to learn in new ways and communicate that learning to the world. The resources are available to provide each student with choice, ownership and voice through authentic learning opportunities. We have the tools at our fingertips; all we have to do is learn how to use them.