Looking for student's passions for learning in the worst place possible

#edtech #edchat So by now you've seen my concern for the edtech landscape before me, I see a lot of amazing things, but also I see it as a world that contains some disenfranchised teachers teaching disengaged students. Where was their passion for both teaching and learning?

This became my quest. So just like with any great quest, I started with a question. My started as; "How does someone develop passion for learning?" and then I focused the question on to my role as a tech teacher by changing the question to; "Can technology be used to help develop a passion for learning?"

After spending more than three years on this quest and fumbling around with the question, interviewing anyone who I seemed passionate about a subject and as it turned out, I found my answer, for me anyways, in the most unlikely of places… sports.

Sports, why did it have to be sports?

To be honest, I hate sports, I was never any good at them as a child, and I still stink at them as an adult. Which could explain why it took me so long to find the answer to my question. So as things developed, the answer to my question laid in the least likely of a place for me to look. Wow, this quest analogy was really turning into something real.

As I interviewed students about the passions that they had, often times a passion was for a sport of some kind. At first I blew off these answers in search of passions with more meat of the bones as it were. After all, what do I know about sports? But as I was interviewing a 15 year-old student about his passion for ice hockey things changed.

You see, I had always thought that sports people or "jocks," were just in it to be cool, or because their dad was living out the high school glory days of his youth vicariously through his son. It had never occurred to me that they actually like doing it.

When this young hockey player explained to me that he got up at 4:30 in the morning, five days a week to go to practice, I had to ask some more questions.

"I bet you hate your dad waking you up so early?"

"No, it is actually the other way around." he responded matter-of-factly.

"You have to wake up your dad?" I replied in disbelief.

"Yeah, he really hates my morning practices, but as long as I make him some coffee, he usually is okay. He supports me - but he still hates getting up that early."

My interview continued and as it turned out, this young man wasn't practicing hockey, not because he was forced to, or that he thought it would make him cool, or that is dad was forcing him. He did it because he loved playing hockey, and not just playing hockey, he loved to learn how to improve his game. He had a passion for not just hockey, any kid can just play it on the weekend with his buddies, his passion was for learning. He got up early every morning to learn how to improve his game. This kid had passion.

But now for the real question, "Who do I translate a passion for sports into a passion for learning by using technology?"

In the next post, I will explain how everything fell together for me...