The rollercoaster of the week ends with a high!
But as with a rollercoaster we've also had a few lows.
Over the past year we've had discussions on the ineffective personal development activities associated with technology. When presenting 20 different apps and programs in 2 hours often leads to a state of overload, which then puts us into a position of making people feel they are 20 apps behind, when in reality we might actually only use 2 or 3. Why would someone ever get on the ride then they think everyone else is soooooo far ahead of them? We were asked to do a presentation (at a staff meeting of all places) on how we've used technology in our classes this year. Now, this captive.....errrrr....captivated audience now had to sit through 3 colleagues’ and the division tech guru present examples apps/programs. Between the four of us we probably did at least 7 apps and at least 20 jargon words. You can imagine how we were so inspired and proud of what we accomplished after this "forced" technology presentation. I'm sure the High School p.e. teacher is going to go out and do a collaborative technology infused project with his students next week. Not sure on how or why we stooped to this low. Maybe the familiarity with this form of presentation, the setting and our own bad habits set in, but it happened and we must learn from it.
So the high...spent Thursday in my room with two fellow staff members, one who has not been overly accepting of the change that technology can bring. Overwhelmed is the sentiment most often expressed by this teacher, and fair enough, as we all handle our life loads in our own way. But on Thursday something changed, not with bells and whistles but with small steps and shy grins of accomplishments. This person ended the day by working on her new twitter account. We then had a invigorating discussion about how we can now twitter each other during class, as we will be teaching the same section (Social Studies 10-1) during the same block. This led to an exploration how we can have the students twitter both teachers and other students in the opposite classroom...not exactly flattening the world but as they say, all journeys begin with a first step...
The journey the two of us have been on has started paying dividends in our school beyond the boundaries of our class walls. Other teachers are realizing that our collaboration is working for us and our students. It is an example for them and they're starting to want on.
It is OK to collaborate and work together. We don't have to be individuals in the school; we can truly be members of a team. (a little background...we are a k-12 school and often we are the only people teaching the subject). This is a good way to end this week and start a new semester on Monday and now we must maintain the momentum and continue to convert the others to take a "Ride".
Thanks for reading,
John and Stephen
picture courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrioux/409787374/