Who are you and why are you writing a blog?
I'm a high school Spanish teacher. I've been teaching since 2003. Although I love my job, my subject, and my students, it wasn't until I decided to integrate more technology into my lessons in 2009 that I really began do exciting things in my classroom. I began reading blogs... I got an iPad... I joined Twitter... things just began to snowball.
In February of 2012, I was handed 26 iPads to distribute to one of my classes for a pilot program. Two weeks in, I realized that I need to document the successes and failures of what's going on in my classroom before I forget it all. And I believe that what my students and I are experiencing now is going to become more and more common as education (sloooowly) moves into the 21st century. I hope that this blog will be a place where I can reflect on my practice, share the how and why of shifting from a 20th century classroom model to a 21st century learning space, and stimulate conversation about what's really important in education today.
Why do we need another blog about teaching?
We probably don't. There are so many educators out there who have been doing the blog thing longer and more effectively than I can hope to. I admire the educator pioneers that are eliminating homework, flipping the classroom, integrating technology, motivating students with social media, changing grading policies, personalizing education... ad infinitum. Honestly, I get so excited about all of these things when I read about them, or participate in a chat on Twitter, that I feel deflated when I go to school and realize how far the reality is from my ideal. I struggle with being satisfied with small changes and following through on larger ones, even though I believe that radical institutional change is necessary and inevitable. If anything, this blog will be honest about the workaday process of revolutionizing education.
What is plugged-in pedagogy?
I don't yet know the answer to this question. I like the double meaning of "plugged in"--both being literally plugged in with some kind of technological device, and of knowing what's going on, being engaged. I also like how broad "pedagogy" is. I toyed with variations of "educator," "classroom," "student," etc., but none of those words really communicated the whole of teaching, how pedagogy is something that is for both student and teacher, something that can be learned, practiced, adhered to, rejected, evolved. In sum, it seems like a pithy phrase for a nebulous, half-formed philosophy that maybe, with luck, will emerge in the writing of the blog.