cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Derek

As I cruise through some of the first blog posts of our new Coetailers, there is a common theme running through many of them. People are saying they are overwhelmed by the amount of Technology in the world. They are afraid they are falling behind the times and definitely afraid of falling behind their students’ understanding and use of Technology.

When I joined Coetail, I thought I would be learning new software and apps and getting ideas on how to use them in the classroom. I thought learning these things would be my way of making sure I was “up-to-date”.

Perhaps you have those same ideas in your mind. The picture of success for you might be to finish Coetail with the same knowledge and skills that all the other Coetail graduates have.

As much as we are trying not to turn out cookie-cutter students who will no longer cut-it (pun intended) in this Tech-integrated world, Coetail isn’t trying to churn out cookie-cutter teachers in a Tech-integrated classroom.

Coetail is not really about learning the body of Tech content, skills, and apps for teaching. Coetail is more about challenging your thinking about what is good pedagogy in the 21st century on our way to preparing our students for a world where conformity, letter grades, and GPA mean very little. Tech may be a part of this, but there is more than Tech to it.

The most important skills companies will be looking for in our student graduates are the ability to innovate on the fly and to work in collaborative teams. As teachers, we’re preparing our students for this kind of world.

In parallel, to be a successful integrationist of Tech in education, you’ll have to learn to innovate and learn on the fly and to work in collaborative teams. Your first steps as a Coetailer are doing this with the inspiration, guidance, support, and cheerleading of the Coetail community.

The experience will be transformative and you will reinvent yourself but it will (and should be) tailored according to your desires. It’s not about being the same as anyone and no one is going to tell you who to be and what to do. It’s about finding that special niche of yours and flying in it. It’s not about learning everything in Tech and how to do everything with Tech. It’s about embracing and excelling in the areas of Tech that excite you and inspire you—always in the framework of good pedagogy. It’s about taking that and sharing it with other teachers around the world. It’s about bringing that into the classroom and setting your lessons on fire so students catch the fever for learning for the sake of learning and engagement through powerful Tech tools. Let’s not forget about students “doing” it for an audience that comprises the entire world, with the potential to change the world.

Yes, Coetail is transformative and you’ll reinvent yourself—but you’ll be more Ninja than cookie as there are no cookie-cutters in sight ­čśë .