Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Silent Masses

Laying a Foundation for Inquiry

I have been given the great opportunity to work with a group of teachers from an elementary school that have wanted to start using technology in their practice.  The principal releases the entire staff fro 45 minutes by taking all the students into the gym, and bringing in guest presenters such as Mad Science to entertain and astound. 

When I began working with my 6 teachers in our first session, I had made 4 questions to answer on a website in an online form.  I asked the following questions:

1.) What is your name?

2.) What is an area of technology you are curious about?

3.) What fears do you have about technology, or obstacles to using technology do you foresee?

4.)  Where do you think you might like to use technology first?

I sent everyone the link to the page.  4 out of the 6 teachers had difficulty filling in an online form.  They didn’t know you had to click in the box before typing. 

Before you leap to conclusions that these teachers all must have begun teaching before technology was commonplace, one of the four teachers was a year ahead of me in my high school.

My plan is to make technology mean something to each of them.  I have begun by having teachers use the photocopier to scan a a paper copy of a unit they might use this fall into digital form.

This is an important first step. No matter what kind of technology they use, having resources they are familiar with means they don’t have to start from scratch.  This also means that teachers can better share and remix resources amongst each other.  One of the teacher has over 70 boxes of resources, and feels it is her role to be a resource for new teachers.  How much more could she share if she could pass resources on digitally?  How could they be remixed and kept current?

The next step is remixing content. Chop and slice what you need, mix it with other sources, and make something new out of it.

To be continued.

1 comment:

Al Smith said...

This approach- serve even the simple steps and the progressive is essential. Your mandate , like a teacher-librarian's, is to develop with all clientele not just the headliners. Smart move because the guy who just learned the photocopier scanner will help your other initiatives when the time comes. That said your direction into inquiry is a foundation method. The BC TL just wrote a great doc with support resources - if not, you should study it. Also a visit with Heather Daly to discuss , if you havent. :-)