Achieving flow

I was first introduced to "flow" by my colleague Jennifer a few years (6?) back.
The concept was new to me, and I set out to learn more. But it wasn’t until last night, when I had a few hours to myself unexpectedly, that I realized that I experience it–when I am online reading about learning, technology, blogging, and teaching.
Losing all track of time, I sat at my kitchen table, dog leaning against my foot, fingers sometimes typing-sometimes mousing, my mind moving from one concept to another.

The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation,
where the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing. This is
a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great
freedom, enjoyment, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal
concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.[citation needed, wikipedia]

One of the reasons? I love getting emails like this from colleagues:

I am glad I got all the blog and wiki
pages set up before school started.  I would certainly not have been able
to do it now.  My Algebra-II class is gradually getting the hang of what
is expected on their wiki page.  The Math Analysis students are better at
it.  The AP Calc students see a definite advantage in their tests and
quizzes by working on the wiki problems.

And this from Jennifer, referring to our first experience with Google Presentations:

The best aspect of the application is that students can work simultaneously, the update frequency is very quick. The are working
practically in real time. Also, I can track not only their "chat" but
also the revisions. Like a wikispace, I can see who is contributing
which ideas. This technology helps me to ensure that the workers are
rewarded and the slackers feel a bit more self-conscious, and hopefully
motivated to get to work.

Ok, back to the flow.

New name, new focus

I’ve been spending a great deal of time thinking about our school laptop program. Though for years I’ve said, "Don’t think of this as an add-on, don’t teach technology separately, the title of my blog, Tech for Teachers, certainly didn’t support that concept. So now, I want to focus on broader concepts of learning– how do we engage learners? what are ways we will all be learning in the future? My tagline remains: It’s more than the laptops. Because technology won’t make bad teaching good.

This article certainly speaks to that.

Need some inspiration?

Professor Gardner Campbell (UMW) writes how he is a better teacher when his students are, well, better students.
He says:

As a teacher, as a leader, I look constantly for readiness. My
preparations are also meta-preparations, as I ready myself to find my
engaged students and, on the good days, when I’m at my best, to bring
those students into a fuller, more challenging awareness of
possibilities for learning, for making, for doing.

And when my students inspire me, I hope I will always be ready to clap my hands and say, “again!”

We all wish for this…