When conducting technology-related professional learning experiences, I often start my sessions with the video “Know Your Why
” by comedian Michael Jr.
In this video, Michael Jr. asks an audience member, who happens to be a music teacher at a school, to sing “Amazing Grace.” The man sings a few bars with a rich baritone voice earning applause from the audience. Michael Jr. then asks the man to sing again, but this time he gives a reason for singing the song. He tells the man to sing to his uncle who has seen great suffering. The man belts out a passion-filled version of the song earning him a standing ovation. The lesson, Michael Jr. states, is that “when you know your ‘why’ then your ‘what’ has more impact, because you’re working towards your purpose.”
There is no doubt that the teachers at Shorecrest know the ‘why’ for using technology with their students. The ‘why’ is not just about teaching their students how to use technology. Rather it is about how they use technology to engage students and encourage active participation, foster collaboration, build community, nurture creativity, promote critical thinking and innovation, and strive for educational excellence.
Since 2016, Shorecrest has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for its exemplary vision and continued commitment to bringing state-of-the-art technology to our classrooms. We would not have received this commendation if we didn’t know our ‘why’ for using technology. Knowing our ‘why’ is what helped the Shorecrest faculty make the quick transition to distance learning in just three days last spring and guides their work as they offer both a Flexible Learning program and on-campus program which continue to grow and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our students and families.
There are many individuals over the course of Shorecrest’s history who have shaped the school’s vision for technology. The administration and Board of Trustees made technology a priority in its Master Plan back in 1994, and have continued to include technology and innovation as a strategic priority ever since. The teachers, as lifelong learners, dedicate countless hours of their time each year engaged in professional learning, both during the school year and summer, to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest tools and best practices. And our families, through their support of the Shorecrest Fund, have contributed generously to making our vision a reality. Through their generosity, we have been able to build a robust infrastructure, positioning us for continued growth.