As mentioned in several previous posts, leaning to code kml was my gateway into programming. While I admit my code often looks like a three-year old’s coloring book, the amount of growth and learning over the past five years has been such an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Initially geteach.com was designed and created to allow students to more efficiently explore one, or two, spatial distributions (perspectives) of their world. There were many other factors that went through my mind before creating geteach.com from wanting a hobby that helped me relax and think, to the annoyance of “education/technology” companies charging so much money for something two people and several pots of coffee could create. I am so pleased that educators around the world can use geteach.com, along with other projects, in their classroom.
The one thought that never crossed my mind when creating these geo-tools was the amount of teacher cred I receive from students. My first experience with this teacher cred was five years ago while teaching summer school. During this summer session, I came across many reluctant learners, but one student, in particular, was classic John Bender from Breakfast Club. About four days into summer school I was demonstrating geteach.com and “John” blurted out, “you created this?” John was, in business management terms, a first follower. From that point on this room of reluctant learners pivoted into “just enough” learners.
For the past week and half, I might have been viewed by many as an absent-minded teacher who can’t take roll, loved to talk about geography as a perspective that transfers across disciplines, and an idealist of lifelong learning. Once students figure out I learned to code from spatial thinking these qualities, minus the taking roll part, are no longer just words, but true beliefs and core to my teaching and learning philosophy. Learning to code and developing the language of technology though a spatial lens has given me a window of teacher cred to build those needed relationships to last at least the next 180 days, but hopefully beyond.