Re-igniting Passion

Re-igniting Passion (Via elearnspace.) Kathy Sierra: “Apparently ALL of the best teachers kept their teaching fresh and inspiring no matter how many times they had to teach the same damn topic, day after day, year after year.”

I like to begin each professional development with a “Welcome Activity.” Following my introduction, I usually offer a thought provoking idea or quote that participants can respond to when they introduce themselves. I look for a quote that will bridge the gap between the training and the participants’ life outside of work. In this sense I am hoping to start the session with a little bit of “and Life” to get them thinking and talking. Ideally, this will spark a passion in the participants. Because passion is contagious, I often start with something that ignites passion in me… and because passion often comes from something fresh, I often wait until the night or morning before a training for something to serendipitously present itself as my opening anecdote. This has the added benefit of making even a well rehearsed and often delivered topic seem fresh and spontaneous… just for them.

I can’t believe how much this changes the tenor of professional development, when the trainer connects with the participants on a human level – and even more so when they are able to also connect with each other.

UPDATE: Passionate Work (Via Weblogg-ed News: The Read/Write Web in the Classroom.) Will links to Kathy Sierra’s post, too, and offers this bit: “Now I know passion doesn’t necessarily pay the bills. But I almost defy you to show me a successful person that didn’t get there by being passionate about something.”

I seem to be linking to posts on passion more frequently, and I think these thoughts are finding fertile ground in me…


Learning……..? (Via Excellence and Imagination.) This is one of my new subscriptions I’ve come to enjoy. This post is a reflection on learning as a tough business and offers this bit, very reminiscent of Dewey and Bruner: “Learning isn’t about me, the teacher. Learning is about you. It is about who you choose to connect with around the world. It is about the time that you take to think about things, to write about things, and to connect information together from various places, projects, and people.”

Mr. Fisher offers links to his students’ new blogs in the left hand column as well.

40 Developmental Assets

40 Developmental Assets (Via Stacy Deeble-Reynolds.) The 40 Developmental Assets presented at this site form the backbone of the “Using Technology to Support the Whole Child” presentation Stacy is developing for the upcoming CUE conference. The presentation will be the final event in a series of five sessions in the OCDE Mobile Mac Lab on Saturday of the conference. Here is the blurb on the event from our Spring 2006 Newsletter:

In Construction Paper for the 21st Century, discover how free on-line media enables students to collaborate as they mix, mash and re-create the web. Then, in Blogs are the New Crayons, learn how to take advantage of the read/write web so that you can quickly and easily post professional quality interactive multimedia content for your students, parents, and community. Bringing the Real World Into the Classroom will demonstrate the value of creating a collaborative classroom environment that uses videoconferencing to connect to real world experts, museums, educational organizations and other classrooms. Participants in Take it to the Next Level: Video Games in Education will be introduced to cutting edge theories on digital game-based learning, including the benefits, drawbacks, and controversial issues. Finally, More to the Story: Using Technology to Support the Whole Child will present creative ways technology can be used to support 40 developmental assets such as adult role models, service to others, social justice, sense of purpose, and a positive view of personal future.

I’m more and more interested in this final session; as I IMed Stacy recently:

I’m excited because it’s a powerful approach to life… it goes right to the heart of what education and technology are for in my mind… and its something people want to know, which isn’t being provided right now. I hope this is only the beginning of it at OCDE.

If you’re an educator in California, we hope to see you in Palm Springs in March. :)