Have you ever watched the ending of a big sporting event? Perhaps you catch the last game of the Finals where the MVP thanks everyone on the team and then goes into a story about how that particular moment is the culmination of a life long dream?  Perhaps you have heard stories of astronauts recalling their days growing up wishing that they could one day break free from the earths gravity and become space pirates only to end up living on the International Space Station.

Have you ever stopped and thought about what it is exactly that they are speaking to?  Take a moment and look at your own life.  What were your goals growing up?  What were the things you were hoping to accomplish? Did you achieve them? Did those goals become just another footnote in your life?

I am proposing a simple question today about these goals.  Is it the goal itself that is a valuable commodity or is it the knowledge we gain from the actual journey that means the most to us?  What happens to us when we achieve our goals?  Do we learn as much as when we go through the journey and not reach the highest points?

Thinking about my younger years

It wasn’t too long ago that I was growing up and learning how to tinker with computers. I remember my dad bringing home our first computer and although I knew nothing about it, I knew it was a pretty neat toy.  We all remember those first moments when we heard the modem sign into AOL for the first time. Ah yes … those were the days.

I can also remember learning about a man named Steve Jobs.  He was a brilliant visionary who often stood up in front of large crowds and shared his vision for the future while demonstrating his latest gizmos and gadgets.

I often look back to those memories and remember at those moments setting a goal for myself to really do something special in the world that would be helpful to people of all shapes, sizes, and locations.  I remember saying to myself, “Wouldn’t it be neat if one day, Mr. Jobs introduced me on that big stage to talk about the latest and greatest thing to come out of the world of technology that could be used by millions of students to improve their education … wouldn’t that be cool?”

Obviously that dream will never happen.  It’s been a few years since Steve Jobs passed away and my chances of being brought onto an Apple Keynote are set somewhere between slim and none at this point.  That being said, the dream of being in a position to work with amazing technology, amazing software developers, and outstanding educators is still a very big goal of mine.

So, I ask the question again …. is it the journey to reaching the goal, or is it the achieving of the goal itself that is, or should be, the most rewarding?

Learning how to fish

This past summer, I had a wonderful week in Denver at the ISTE conference.  This was my 4th ISTE and I decided to approach this years conference slightly different than in years past.  Instead of over extending myself by recording dozens of podcasts, I set myself up to have conversations  instead.  I liken this experience to fishing.  Sometimes you dip your pole in the water and nothing happens … and sometimes you dip your pole in the water and you catch a fish.

I am very proud to share that many of my conversations this year have already produced “fish” and over the next few weeks/months, I will be sharing the outcomes of those ISTE encounters.  The first of which I am very proud to share with you today.

For the last five years, I have been honored to be a content creator working with hundreds of edtech companies large and small.  For the last two years, I have had the privilege of producing dozens of videos and audio podcasts for one particular company who is pretty well known world wide.  We have done live shows together as well as created a very popular mini online course featuring one of their premier applications.  For the last 2 years, I have not only been brought into their family as a broadcaster, but also as a family member.  It is with a huge smile that I am happy to make this announcement today.

The BIG reveal!

On Saturday, September 24th, I am proud to share that I will be broadcasting LIVE from a 2 hour LIVE event called “Hack the Classroom” in Redmond Washington.  This amazing program, sponsored by Microsoft Education, will feature several presentations, keynotes, and also a live audience made up of educational professionals.  Also during this event, we will be covering an educator driven Maker Space to see just what you can be doing in your classroom with your students.

To top it off, we will also be launching a joint project produced by both the TeacherCast Educational Broadcasting Network and Microsoft Education that focuses on talented educators and the work they are doing in their classrooms.  On Saturday, September 24th, we will be launching the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert: Spotlight Series Podcast.

I can honestly say that the experiences I have had over the last few months to prepare this new podcasting series have been unbelievable.  No matter what type of educational system you teach in, and no matter if you are an Apple, Microsoft, or Google Apps school, I highly recommend you check out the Microsoft Education community. It is filled with top notch educators lead by a top notch family of innovative visionaries at Microsoft Education.

 

The podcast will be produced both as a video series, and audio podcast and will be featuring not only product updates and reviews, but conversations with the educators who dig in each day and work with amazing students.  Together, we will be telling the stories of how educators are shaping the lives of our young men and women in the classroom.  I hope you take a moment to check it out for yourself and subscribe to our audio and video channels to be the first to know about any new episodes that get produced.

Are we satisfying ourself, or each other?

To close out this post and GIANT announcement, I want to ask the question one more time.  Is it the achieving of our goals, or is it the journey getting to those goals that should be filling up our cup of satisfaction?  When I was dreaming of standing on a stage next to Steve Jobs wanting to share the next big product update I was no where near imagining that one day, I would be the creator of an educational network that could one day stand next to an edtech giant.  Honestly, I might have been dreaming too small.  I know my own answer to this question.  For me, it’s the drive to achieve, and the journey that you take that for me is the most satisfying.  The journey is a mystery that you never see the end of until you get there.  When you DO get there you are ultimately at the end and for me that always brings a moment of sadness.

What do you think?  Is it the journey or the destination that gives you the most fulfillment? Please leave a comment below and share your stories with us.

For more information, please visit my new website: JeffreyBradbury.com.  I would love to work with you.


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Jeffrey Bradbury, author of Kidblog: An Introduction to Blogging With Your Students, is the creator of TeacherCast.net, TeacherCast University, and Educational Podcasting Today. He is an ASCD Emerging Leader, Google Certified Teacher, Google Education Trainer, PBS Learning Media Digital Innovator, Microsoft Innovative Educator, Microsoft Surface Expert, Evernote Community Leader, speaker, writer, podcaster, broadcaster, consultant, and educational media specialist. He is currently the Coordinator for Technology Integration for the Westwood Regional School District in New Jersey.