Lesson 2 - Best Practices for What Matters Most

I’ve been thinking about two elements of Lesson 2. 


First I’ve been considering the title for the lesson, Best Practices for What Matters Most.  As folks have pointed out in other discussions, what matters is relative.  What is valuable in your place?  What is important in terms of knowledge or a skill-set in a given culture?  How does scale, temporal and spatial, play a role in what matters?  How does an individual’s unique interests and characteristics, in concert with their place, time, and culture impact what matters?  What do we need to know and be able to do in terms of our daily lives and decision-making?  What experiences have we had in the past and where do we want to go in the future?  These are the types of things that influence what matters and it will be different for every individual.


The second thing I’ve been reflecting on is a quote from Lesson 2; “Instead of using the word broadband, use the term ‘connectedness’ which begs the issue of who, what and why?”


When I bring these two elements together, I consider that perhaps what matters most is connectedness.  Maybe what matters is that we each find our community, real and virtual, to help us learn, grow, be, and achieve.  Maybe we need a community that is inclusive and resonates with us, while simultaneously challenging us to be and do more. 


So, what does this mean for me as an educator?  I’m not entirely sure.  It means that what matters to each student is unique and that I need to provide learning opportunities that acknowledge and harness that.  It means that as I choose technology tools to use in my classes, wikis or blogs or any of the other million tech tools that are out there, I need to ask myself if the tool is going to help my students to connect - truly connect - to something meaningful.  While these are not new concepts in the field of education, it does shine some new light on what these things mean in terms of developing lessons that incorporate instructional technologies or social media. 


I’m sure there are other lessons to be learned and hopefully they will come to me, but I’ll stop there for now.  I welcome feedback and other thoughts about what matters and connectedness.

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I really like the thought that what matters most is connectedness. This brings a picture to mind of a family eating dinner at a restaurant where all the members are face down in their devices. Technology can connect us to the world, but can also isolate us. I think it is a responsibility of educators to help students (and parents) learn how to use technology appropriately while saving time for family. There is a time and place for devices; I don't believe the dinner table is that place. Talk to your kids, learn about their lives and make sure you are present. These are the things that matter most.  

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