Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Well, we missed it. International Dot Day was September 15th. Better to be late than not go at all, we celebrated making our creative mark this past week. It came at a good time. I’ve been hearing a lot of “I can’ts” lately. If you are unfamiliar with the story of The Dot by Peter Reynolds and International Dot Day, you can check it out here. In the story, Vashti is an uninspired student who feels as if she can’t draw. Her teacher encourages her to be brave enough to “make her mark”.
Leaving our mark is a lot easier than we think. We make it hard. We resist and tell ourselves we aren’t smart enough, creative enough, talented enough, rich enough…but what if we took a page from Vashti’s playbook and just tried? As educators, we make lasting marks with every child we teach.
As we started using iPads in our classroom in 2011, there was no real path to follow. We trail blazed our own. There were a few bumps along the way, but we believed in what we were doing. We started with our own “dot” and it has transformed the way we do everything. It has transformed the way we think about everything.
So back to our dot project…after reading the book, we used our iPads to create our own dots in our Drawing Pad app. (We usually use Doodle Buddy, but they have not updated the app lately and it doesn’t work very well with the new iOS 7 update.) The kids uploaded their dots to Showbie and I then downloaded them all on my iPad and put them into Book Creator. As you may know, my love for Book Creator is epic.
Our finished product is here:
The great thing about Showbie is there are “shared folders” with each assignment. After I created the class book in Book Creator, I uploaded it back to the shared folder in Showbie. This made the book available to each student and all they had to do was download it into their iBooks. Now each student has a copy of our class book in their iBooks shelf. They have loved looking at each other’s work and are definitely proud of their own.
You know, a lot has changed for me since I said, “yes” to iPads 2 1/2 years ago. I never dreamed I would be doing the things I am. I chose to try and make my mark by creating a student centered classroom infused with technology.
How are you making your mark?
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!