Sunday, September 26, 2010

Once an Educator...

Always an educator.

I stand by that. For almost two years, I've been blogging about one of my passions--books. But I have other passions, other loves: my family, food, and my career--education. I could probably use the term "teaching," but doing what I do now, I'd feel pretentious calling myself a teacher. After all, I don't teach in a classroom anymore. But it seems no matter what I do, no matter how far I go, my heart will always, always be in education.

And so this blog is born. I may not be in a classroom anymore, but I am still an educator. I do teacher training, and my current work as a writer and editor of instructional materials requires me to do some instructional and curriculum designing. And I love doing all of that. But since I no longer work in a school setting, I find myself looking for more people I can talk to with like passion. Teacher training is great, but it doesn't happen everyday. Dealing with teacher-writers is also great, but again, meetings are few and far between. As a blogger, I've found, though, that the discourse online can be rich and rewarding. If nothing else, this allows me to talk about my other passion in a more apparent manner.

But I have a specific agenda for this blog than just a repository of my teacher-y thoughts. You see, I also work as an e-learning specialist, and though I find that title a bit too big for me, I do think of myself as an apostle of web 2.0 applications for educators. So, in this blog, I'd like to feature a lot of Web 2.0 applications that teachers can use, some of them I've used myself, others I haven't had the opportunity to use in class but will pimp out nonetheless because I see some potential in it, or because I know of someone else who used it to good effect.

As a Filipino educator, I have an idea of how accepted technology integration is in schools. Teachers and administrators like the idea, like what it can do. But right after that comes the litany of constraints against it--we don't have the hardware; we have the hardware, but not the internet connection; we have the internet connection, but it's slow; we have a fantastic net connection, but teachers just use it to check email; the hardware's very expensive so that, even if we have it, we don't want to let a lot of people use it; we're not sure how to use it; our students are too poor that integrating technology in school would be useless since they don't have it at home anyway; and so on. I understand that these are real concerns, but as a perpetual optimist , I think that the first thing that needs to be done is to get rid of the fear. Because once the fear is overcome, then solutions to these issues, new and creative, come out of the woodwork.

There is one final reason that I was pushed to start this blog. I am a mother of two beautiful children, a six-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. My girl has Down Syndrome, so she has special needs when it comes to education. But it is through my children, both my son and my daughter, that I'm learning to look at education in a new light. For all my teaching life, I've taught in very traditional schools. But now that my children are in pre-school or about to enter early grades, I'm seeing more exciting ways of teaching and learning. I see that what I've always dreamed of when it comes to teaching, others have already been doing or are on their way towards. And I want to give props to these great educators I've met through my children. In fact, when it comes down to it, my children are my teachers. They have taught me that there are more ways to teach and learn than what I had previously known.

So, if you're reading this, welcome! This blog is an adventure, as teaching is a grand adventure. I do not know where it will lead or what it will bring, but as always, I look forward to what I shall learn. And I hope you find something of value here, too.


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