As I sat in Tami Pyfer’s Saturday keynote at SUECON, her message of “Change the Education Narrative” really hit home. How many people outside of education see what is really going on in classrooms and schools? And how many are buying into the media and critics’ messages? The only way that narrative can change is for those of us in the education community to start telling our story. The story of the Language Arts teacher who stays late every Tuesday and invites students from any class to come into her classroom, have some popcorn, play some music, use her computer lab and get help with homework, regardless if it is from her class or not. The 8th grade Science teacher who comes in early the day after a test to read aloud the questions to a student with a reading disability so she can improve her score. The 4th grade students learning to code from a teacher providing them with real-world skills. There are thousands of teachers going the extra mile to help their students succeed every day. Where are these stories being told?
UCET is a coalition of groups dedicated to promoting effective use of technology in education. As the newly appointed Advocacy Representative on the UCET Board, I am setting a goal to help UCET and teachers share these stories and help change the education narrative. UCET Board members can tell these stories as we meet legislators and policy makers, and as we travel around the state and the country talking to colleagues and parents. We can post stories on http://ucet.org/advocacy/, include them in our Blog and newsletter, give innovative teachers a forum to share ideas at the UCET Conference, and support teachers as they create new stories by learning to use technology in their classrooms.
But we can’t tell stories that we don’t know about! If you have a story that needs to be told about using technology in your classroom, or know a colleague that has a great story, please let us know by sharing it with us in the Advocacy area of the ucet.org. Just go to http://ucet.org/advocacy/ and click on the “Share Your Story” link at the top of the page. If you are on Twitter, share pictures and stories using the hashtag #ucetAdvocacy and follow along for updates. With your help we can start spreading the news of the great things happening with technology in Utah schools.
As an additional incentive we will be randomly choosing one person each month in November/December, January, and February who shares a story at http://ucet.org/advocacy/ to receive a free registration to the UCET Conference on March 17-18, 2016 at the University of Utah. It doesn’t have to be long, just share a few paragraphs telling us what great things you are doing with technology in your district, school, or classroom. Please, share your story with us and together I believe we really can “Change the Education Narrative”!