“Tech” Resolutions for the New Year

FireworkI’m sure I’m not the only who catches the re-energized “bug” each year when the New Year rolls around. I organize. I de-clutter.  I work out. I find new blogs to follow. I plan great projects to undertake for the new year. You get the picture. I often get more accomplished in those first couple weeks of January than any other week of the year! (I wish I could get an injection of this energy and optimism several times during the year.)

Well, just as we resolve to lose weight, budget our money, watch less TV, etc., why not consider a few professional resolutions as well? While reading a number of blogs and tweets related to keeping your new year’s resolutions, I came across a few helpful tips that I’ve summarized below. I feel that these same strategies can be applied to our professional development, just as easily as our personal lives.

  • Take baby steps. If you drink 4 diet Cokes everyday, don’t go cold turkey. Try to cut out one a day for a few weeks and then another and then another. Be sure to pace yourself.
  • Make it manageable. We all know life happens!! Don’t set yourself up for immediate failure. Evaluate what type of change you can truly manage with your life.
  • Write them down. This is one I always have a hard time with. Writing down a resolution or goal helps make them “real.” Take it even a step further and share your goal with someone else. They can support you!
  • Remain positive. It is so easy to only see the things we aren’t doing well. Choose to not focus on the times you don’t reach your resolution, but do take time to recognize your accomplishments and successes.

So, there’s the pep-talk. Let’s get to work! One of my favorite resources is “Educational Technology & Mobile Learning”. This blog is a wonderful resource for educational web tools and applications. (When you visit the link I’ve provided to the specific post, be sure to click the home button so you can follow the blog via number of social media outlets.)

An older post caught my eye today when I was taking a “Twitter Break.” (I will explain this idea in a future post.) The post, entitled “Teachers Ultimate Digital Kit 30+ Great Educational Technology Guides.” contains a collection of guides that were developed over the course of several months. These guides cover everything from blogging to QR Codes to flipped classrooms to creativity and everything in between. And they are more than just a quick overview. The guides provide a complete overview of the topic, accompanied by images, diagrams, video tutorials, and examples to help inspire you. Finally, you are provided with a webliography containing links to related resources.

To help you organize your “Tech Resolution” I have created two different goal-setting forms. (One is a SMART form.) This is the “write it down” aspect I mentioned above.  TTC Goal Setting One & TTC Goal Setting Two (SMART Form). Take a few minutes to skim the 30+ topics. If you come across a completely new topic, take some time to click around to learn just enough about the topic to see if interests you. Now what? First, don’t feel overwhelmed! Even if reading through this list feels like reading Chinese…take a deep breath! You don’t need to be great at everything to be a great teacher! As I mentioned above, take baby steps!

At this time of the school year, most of us are sitting down with administrators for our mid-year evaluation. If you are looking for a little more direction in the area of technology, use this document to help establish a new goal, or to even help you refocus on a previous goal.

In closing, think about this…in the end, are you really trying to “reach” a goal, “keep” a resolution or form a new habit? Keeping this in mind might help you keep your focus in the right place.