Prior to last Christmas, I had never had any experience with a GoPro camera. So ever since I received one I have been intrigued by how I have gone about learning how to use it.

Interestingly, when I first turned it on, I was slightly intimidated by the camera. This was fascinating to me since I teach technology! I really didn’t know what the camera’s capability was or what I could do with it (other than the obvious action footage).

Just before school ended for the break, we acquired access to instructional videos. So, for two days over the holidays I spent about 2 hours watching videos about the GoPro. In that time all I learned was how to manage all the controls. I was completely happy pouring through those videos and really needed to understand HOW it worked before I could start to think about how I could use it.

This approach totally surprised me! In class I am for ever asking students to just try something and see what happens. Yet I couldn’t do that myself.
Then I realized this wasn’t so different from many things that I do…. When I cook I almost always have a recipe and when I travel I read all about hype history and location and make a list of places I would like to see. However, after building some background knowledge and thinking through my plans, I feel free to experiment – I alter about 50% of each recipe and make substitutions! despite having a vague itinerary places I visit I take my time and wander from one spot to the next without adhering to a schedule, exploring unknown locales and try to include as many stops as possible to see what life is really like there.

A friend once asked why it was so easy for me to travel so many places in the world… At first I had no idea but then I realized my approach to so many things is: Don’t be scared – Be prepared

Apparently I need to know where the box is before I feel comfortable enough to explore it’s boundaries. I wonder how true this is for the students that I teach and the colleagues that I work with. How many of them also need time to really get a sense of how something works or make a plan before they can experiment with it?

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