I just realized what makes me a little uncomfortable with Ed Tech. It's the loyalty factor. I find that some companies/individuals want you to...except you to be loyal to one brand. If you are a "Google person" then you can't be a "Microsoft person." If you love Nearpod, you can't love ClassFlow, which means you can't love Pear Deck. I find that some wish to put products against each other, not to simply see which is better for their situation, but to pledge allegiance to one or the other. And I am not sure if it is the actual companies doing the "loyalty shaming," but I definitely see it being done by some consumers. Shouldn't we be showing more loyalty to our students than to a product? Shouldn't we be looking for whatever ragtag, mismatched tools we can to create the perfect digital working environment for our specific situation? Enough is enough! I love so many different Ed Tech products and each bring different pros and cons to the table. Why not teach about each of them and let the educators who attend or sessions decide which they want to use and not feel guilty about not showing loyalty to one specific product.
Now, with that being said, there is also nothing wrong with loving a company's suite of products. I have to say that I do indeed love me some Google! But it is because I use the product daily and believe in the product. If an educator tells me their situation and I think Dropbox would work best for them or Edmodo is the way to go for their online classroom, I will let them know that. It isn't disloyal to the brand, but it is loyal to my mission of helping educators succeed in the plans for student success. So, to all Ed Tech companies/gurus/lovers out there: It is a good thing to have your favorite products compared to others! If you have/love a quality product, it will be used...it will be taught...it will be recommended to others! And it will definitely be added to my toolbox as another great Ed Tech option!
How do you find your passion?
Most of us know what makes us excited and we know what makes us what to stay in bed and hide. However, sometimes it is hard to pinpoint more than what makes us happy, but what we are truly passionate about. I like to ask this question, "If you won a million dollars, what is the one thing you WOULD NOT give up?" Now, I know many of us would say sleeping, watching TV/movies, and hanging our with friends/family. But what do you DO that you would not give up? That is your passion. For example, if I won money, it would go into my consulting business...I do not have any plans to give it up no matter how much money I have.
But you know what? As I write this, I have to be even more honest with myself and say it is not the business aspect so much as what I do with my business. If Educator Alexander Consulting, LLC had to go away, I would still want to help teachers through professional development. It truly is my passion. I love doing it. I will forgo food and sleep to present to teachers! I really would (and have)! I just get a joy from teaching teachers and helping them on their journey to making students grow (academically and personally). I also love to help them on their own journey with their personal and professional growth. I never want to stop doing this! Never! So think about that for yourself? What brings you that much joy? That is your passion! Then ask yourself what you can do in your life to spend more time on your passion!
OK...I can feel some of your eyes rolling. But, I promise it can happen! Think of it as a reality! It may take some sacrifices, patience and changes in your life, but envision how much happier you would be by doing what you are truly passionate about! And then take action towards it! Think big and start small! What is one extra thing you can do per week to move you towards your passion? DO IT! Write it down as a definitely thing you HAVE to do! Make it a priority. As you go for it, you will have great successes and you will also have some setbacks! But that is OK because you will know that you are doing what you really love!
So, find your passion, set your goals and GO FOR IT! You can and will do this!
When I first thought about starting a blog, I broke out in a sweat! Why would anyone want to know how I felt about topics? Why would they care? Then, I started my business and realized that my words and actions had value and worth! Who knew?
However, even after I started my website and my company, I still thought that my personal experiences did not really matter in the grand scheme of things. Then I read the EdTech Team's announcement that my Google Innovator mentor Jennie Misong Magiera would be their new Chief Program Officer. In that announcement, she was asked some questions and she answers one of them by saying, "Don't underestimate your own story. As educators, we have a tendency to downplay our experiences, value and voice. Model the confidence and empowerment you want your students to exhibit." Wow! I feel like that little blurb I read on my phone between meetings woke me up! My goal is to help all teachers feel empowered and use their voice, but I kept my voice hidden inside myself. Now that I see the light...I really don't know why I stayed in the darkness so long!
Well, that is over! I feel really good to get back to writing, to write about what I love and to share my experiences! I am here now and I am ready to just be Honestly Desiree!
Desiree Alexander aka Educator Alexander is excited about her first blog, Honestly Desiree! Learn more about her at www.educatoralexander.com/about.