Did it actually make a difference? Look at this sweet little video that still lives on that blog:
This video was captured back in 2009, which means that these adorable little people are now driving 3500-pound automobiles around my city. Did using technology to become more academic back in fourth grade make them better drivers? Did learning to navigate a blog as 10-year-olds make them better navigators in life? Only time will tell. But I can say that some of the same little learners still contact me to this day. In fact, every now and then, one of them will still post a comment on that blog! Did infusing my lessons with technology make a difference for them? It definitely did in me.
When I look back at that blog now, I see so many things that I would change; things I have learned, tools I have tried, and skills I have since refined would definitely improve that site. But this project was my first foray into technology, and it sparked the fire of everything I did for the next five years. So when the opportunity came to not only be like Desiree, but to work WITH Desiree, I had to pounce on it! In the Summer of 2013, when the job posting for Technology Integration Specialist first appeared, I raced to submit my application! It wasn't until I was packing up and stashing my entire classroom into my garage and basement that the realization of my decision hit me: I was no longer going to have the opportunity to make a direct impact on my own group of kids.
It sounds like I'm talking myself out of my own job, doesn't it?! But here's the thing: NOW, I get to have an impact on thousands of kids because I get to work with their teachers. I will never be Desiree Caskey - I will never even be close! But I can be something like that to someone in my district. And here's the other thing – we all can.
When I think about my tech hero, Desiree, and how she must have felt knowing that she made an impact on at least one of us, I hope that at least one of those 86 presenters felt that same sense of pride.
I am so proud of Billings Public Schools and the way we are working hard to make sure that our students feel like genius academics! Thank you to everyone who played a part in Tech Fair 2015; whether you were an attendee or a presenter – whether you work with 10-year-old kids or 50-year-old kids, you make a difference!