Relationships, not technology, make a difference

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I am fortunate enough to be hosting a session at the Ohio Innovative Learning Environments Conference this year.  I am excited to be presenting on the topic of blogging in schools and sharing our participation in the #learn365 project by blogging about what our community was learning each day.

The conference has “innovative” in the title, which makes me think of “edtech” as a major theme for the conference.  It also makes me think that people are expecting a tech-themed conference.  Blogging this school year did involve a lot of technology use in order to share our learning and I was ready to put the focus of the session on the technology and web-based apps we used.

However, when I look back on the posts we did, the themes that were most common had nothing to do with technology.  Our learning community shared stories of relationships, collaboration, hopes, dreams, and reflections.  We did share a couple of posts about technology, but within those posts were ways we were using technology to connect with others in order to learn.

Learning about how we can utilize technology in our classrooms is important for us educators to do in order to strengthen our instruction.  However, I believe that there needs to be a larger purpose that drives this learning.  This year, I learned that there is amazing power in connecting with others through technology and sharing what we are learning.  This affirmed my belief that it’s the relationships and the connections we make with other learners, not the technology, that really matters most.

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