Guest post by Aaron Maurer, MIE Expert, USA. Connect with Aaron Maurer on Twitter at @coffeechugbooks
So many times in our lives as an educator, we wish we had that chance for a new perspective, a new voice, and just something different. It is easy to get stuck in that routine where you ask the same people knowing you will get the expected response and answer to keep trudging through the same pathway.
What if you changed that? If you took a few hours of your time and gathered with other like-minded educators, parents, and students who want to improve? People who want to hear from others, gather a few new ideas, and be inspired by voices from around the world who have stories and examples to back up their ideas?
This is what Hack the Classroom is all about. Last year I tuned in live from my computer at home (the Nerd Cave) with a cup of coffee and scribbled furiously as I learned from so many amazing people. For the previous event we were able to learn from Dale Dougherty, Hadi Partovi, and Rafranz Davis. We were given hope by hearing teacher voices. The channel of communication online was powerful as others gave their wisdom, tips, and ideas. It was a moment when people let their guard down to help one another.
This year is gearing up to being even better. More powerful voices. More Hack the Classroom Events viewing parties (I am hosting!). I am using it as a catalyst to ignite change, to remind educators that we do indeed have some powerful ideas, and that with a few small tweaks we can be even more powerful. Hack the Classroom is about investing in yourself and believing in others. It is about the conversations that emerge from the presenters. It is about the local touch of viewing parties while learning from a global network of people who believe in educators and students. It is about taking the stance to make a change. So often we complain that we don’t have time, or that PD costs money. This is free. This is invaluable. This event has been organized in a way that all excuses have been removed.
I know I will be attending with my coffee and pen in hand to doodle my sketch notes on my Surface. I will be surrounded by students to learn and engage in how education can be enhanced. I will be surrounded by educators who want to make an impact in their classroom. I will be surrounded by thousands of others online, sharing more ideas than we can even imagine. Will you be there? I hope so, and I hope you reach out so we can learn from one another. In the end, isn’t that what it is all about? Sharing to make everyone a little bit better?
Sign up for the next Hack the Classroom livestream, happening September 24, 2016 from 8:00a.m. to 10:00a.m. PST, at aka.ms/hacktheclassroom.
To view last year’s top Class Hacks, visit the Microsoft Educator Community. To enter this year’s Class Hack’s contest, visit http://aka.ms/classhacks. The winning entries will be broadcast live on the September 24 Hack the Classroom event.