As an edtech instructional specialist, it often feels as if in order to “do my job” I am trying to push colleagues down paths they don’t want to travel. It’s also tempting to fall into that “glass half empty” frame of mind. In order to feel successful on a daily basis, I make every effort to focus on how full the glass is each day.
Yesterday I listened to 2 podcasts that had a lot in common. One from Jeff and David in On Deck Podcasts, Celebrating Shifted Teachers and the latest Seedlings @Bit by Bit podcast from Maine. Both podcasts provided the encouragement and focus I needed for a Monday and I’ll save them as favorites for the rainy days.
In Seedlings, Bob shares his use of Scratch with fourth grade students. As he begins telling about his process to introduce Scratch, he relates that he decided that he would not be the expert in the room, but rather proposed that the students discover how to use the program. He realizes that some students will always exceed his skill levels, that they can identify and work through problems with his help as facilitator and guide. To create an environment where students can feel challenged and successful is so empowering! They do need us for guidance and presenting challenges, but we don’t need to “always be the smartest person in the room.”
Jeff and David “celebrate the teachers in their schools who are making the shift. No philosophical discussion tonight, just concrete and practical instructional strategies.”
Again I find it would be so lonely without the network of like-minded educators out here who inspire and encourage me!
I wonder, how much push do we do? (This has been a thread of some discussions lately).
I’d be interested to learn how you perceive your job — do you work one-on-one with classroom teachers? Or provide professional development and support?
“Push” is a delicate matter! The admin view of my position was classroom and curriculum integration support but the staff view was the designated tech teacher. That put me in a tough position with an already not entirely welcoming staff. So I bent over backwards to meet and share ideas, support in the lab and classroom as a co-teacher and do any planning/prep needed to build a tech supported activity. We’re still a long way from actual 21st Century learning but baby steps have been taken.
To answer your second question, I do it all; work one-on-one to plan and co-teach, provide prof dev and support, publish a staff Tech Newsletter highlighting staff who are doing interesting things, have a 2x weekly after-school kids group to have students I work with regularly and other means of trying to stir things up a bit. It’s been an interesting year- what doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger!
Thanks for listening to the SOS podcast. And I listen to Bob’s podcast as well. I am interested to learn about what is happening with “shifting” efforts in European international schools. Yours is the first blog or podcast that I have run across from the region so I am at a loss in knowing what is happening there. We will be looking to Europe for our next international school so I would like to connect with you, if possible.
Glad we have connected David… Now that you mention it, I haven’t bumped into many EU bloggers- but this is my first year overseas. I have met many great ed tech people in Europe so far though. There’s a nice elementary blog from a school in Geneva, Read It! Write It! http://cdnpypl.blogspot.com/
I also hadn’t been on your blog yet- many hours of reading there! We’re starting to look at a 1:1 program and I’m attending the Laptop Institute this summer in Memphis. I would looove to be in a Mac school. More to come…