I’m reading Lifelong Kindergarten. I’ve been obsessed with the Lifelong Kindergarten at MIT since I visited there a few years ago.  Legos, Scratch, the Logo Turtle, and so much creative inspiration about learning in ONE place. So many thoughts are running through my head as I read, I’m asking myself a lot of questions.  I’m rethinking the way I look at technology learning.  I feel a shift.  I feel some things becoming more important that we just didn’t need or know to consider several years ago.  We’re beyond tools.  We’re living in a world immersed in technological advances.  It’s exciting and it’s daunting.  And it’s something we constantly have to be adjusting our awareness of.  I’m not saying the answers to these questions are yes, no, or maybe.  I’m just saying I’m trying to raise my own awareness of what I need to consider as we move forward in our exciting, fast paced, technological learning world. 

Am I teaching and modeling how to learn without the constant distraction of technology?

Am I providing kids the chance to not only choose which tool is best to use, but also consider that technology may not be the best tool to use?

Am I fully present in the conversations with learners, without the distraction of a device or glitzy tool?

Am I constantly considering student privacy and their rights whether they are 4, 10, or 18 years old?

Am I helping kids understand that just because we CAN share everything online, doesn’t mean it’s always the best idea?

Am I encouraging kids to think about how doing acts of kindness matter JUST as much whether done in secret or shared with a selfie that earns 1400 likes?

Am I helping kids understand that the VERY most important devices are their imaginations and providing the chance for them to fully rely on their own thoughts?

Am I quiet often enough to allow thinking to go deep?

Am I honoring that kids are often less enamored by devices and tools than adults are?

Am I stepping aside to allow the students to figure out the way?

Am I fully valuing the tactile acts of building with blocks, cardboard, and raw materials?

Am I listening with a teacher’s ear to give answers or with a learner’s ear to gain understanding?

Am I spending personal time outside my classroom doing something creative so that I can remember the importance of it?

Am I honoring the introverts just as I am the extroverts with balance and thought?

Am I striving to help kids create their learning story or am I busily designing my own?

Am I taking the time to notice each and every learner, each and every day?

Am I still learning? That answer I know for sure. Every single day.  That moment we think we have everything figured out and are finished learning? That’s when we are finished teaching.