Authentic Work

I challenge myself to do the work I asked my students to do. If it doesn’t feel authentic to me why would they buy in and feel it’s authentic to them.

  • Booksnaps – I first started sharing what I was reading when I began reading Innovator’s Mindset.  I was engrossed in my reading and the words on the page jumped off the pages and moved me.  As I was reading I felt like I was reading thoughts in my mind on the pages before me.  I could not help but share my thinking in tweets as I was reading.   It was later, in the fall, that I learned about #booksnaps from  and started thinking more about how I could share my thinking around the pages I shared. Once I started learning about real #booksnaps, I knew it was a real way for students to share their thinking about their reading.  So this week we are book snapping in classes.  (More to come on this topic!)

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  • Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 11.12.08 PMFlipgrid – Last week I learned about #flipgrid in a Twitter Chat about #ditchbook.  I was pretty excited how easily I could add my thoughts to the conversation even after the chat time was over.  So now I am considering how I can use #flipgrid with my students and get teachers excited about this amazing tool.  I am planning on trying it out starting tomorrow with my 4th grade students.  I’m still thinking about the topic, since I only get one for starters.



  • Presentations – I am always making presentations.  Since I started in my Technology Teacher/Coach position 9 years ago I have made presentations for students and for teachers.  Just this past February, I was able to go to PETE & C and present to educators from all over PA.  I don’t know if anyone noticed my digital designs, but I worked hard to make my presentations interesting and less wordy.  When I am in a meeting/session, the last thing I want is for the presenter to read their slides to me.  I teach my students digital design and presentation skills.  It’s a very real lesson for me because I am using it all the time.  There is authenticity in me being able to use my work as examples for my students.
  • iMovie – We make News from the Nest every week.  I have learned a lot about iMovie for the iPad and for the Mac.  I’m always learning more and encourage my students to do the same.  Writing, producing, and editing video is a very real job and it is happening daily in my classroom.  My students create for their classmates, their parents and their community.  Their audience is real.
  • Homework – I am reading, posting, engaging, testing and reflecting.  My work at home is more about what is next for my students and how can I get them there.  I read other’s work, post about my own and engage in conversations.  I’m testing new tools and reflecting on how things are going.  Sometimes it’s simple and doesn’t take much time.  Sometimes I stay up way past my bedtime because I have so much to process, read, share.  But my work is real and matters to me and ultimately to my students.

I want to always have my students doing authentic work.  I will not ask them to do anything that I would not do in response to reading or in learning.  What would be the point?

Let’s make it a point to do the work we ask our students to do and make sure it is real work, not just busywork.


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