The DEN Spring Virtual Conference 2010 entered into the home stretch with a real bang! Carol Anne McGuire, STAR Discovery Educator and creator of Rock Our World inspired us all to find and keep our joy. Carol Anne has taught for over 20 years in public education, mainly with visually impaired students. Today, she is a Technology Specialist at a private school in Malibu, California.
Do you ever feel intimidated? Do you ever feel like you don’t know what you’re doing?
Believe it or not, Carol Anne knows how you feel. Carol Anne’s first technology conference was with Jannita Demian, Discovery Education. From that experience, Carol Anne suggests the following:
1. Find one little thing that you can do, and learn everything you can about that.
2. Find a partner, somebody to go through this with.
3. Find a mentor
4. Don’t quit – there will be roadblocks and naysayers, keep going.
Carol Anne found her idea in Rock Our World. Since 2004, she has been connecting students and teachers throughout the world to collaboratively compose original music, make movies, and meet through live video chats.
Each year Rock Our World focuses on a project using standards based content. Currently ROW is collaborating with NIKE to create a new shoe. Students are creating the design, color, specification, marketing, etc.
Carol Anne shared that through the Rock Our World projects, students and educators have learned about tolerance and ambassadorship. One particularly inspiring story was that of a Jewish teacher in Israel. The teacher was unable to connect to a teacher in Germany and felt that it was because she was Jewish. The teacher, frustrated, contacted Carol Anne. In disbelief, Carol Anne contacted the teacher in Germany who explained that his school had had connectivity issues and emphasized how he was eager to work with the Israeli teacher. Upon hearing the story, the Israeli teacher in a gesture of peace then sought out to contact a teacher in Palestine. Through global collaboration we can promote
peace one teacher, one student at a time.
Learn more about this amazing project through a documentary, soon to be made into a full-length video documentary!
Carol Anne told us about her grandmother, a brilliant woman who was a neurosurgeon. She was a leader in her field and saved many lives, both herself and through the hundreds of surgeons she inspired and trained. Carol Anne asked if your child needed brain surgery, would you want her grandmother, retired 50 years, to operate on your child. People were uneasy with the thought that a surgeon, out of the field for 50 years, would attempt to practice surgery. After all, the operating rooms are so different today, the medication and procedures have changed. After letting us imagine that scenario, Carol Anne admitted that her grandmother wasn’t a neurosurgeon, but rather, an elementary teacher. How would we feel about her substituting in our classroom? Most of us agreed that our classrooms are not that drastically different from 50 years ago! Although the world has changed, many teachers and school are stuck in the past. Shift needs to happen in education, in our teaching through collaborative effort, learning from each other, and working with each other.
Where should you start? Connect with other, like-minded educators, Discovery Education Network, Takingitglobal.org, Apple Educators Community. Find your joy and go with it. Don’t let anyone take your joy and passion away. Don’t become the teacher who should have retired years before.