This post is a huge shout-out to my good friend and talented colleague, Danita! And it comes at the perfect time! After emailing back and forth yesterday about an interesting (and depressing) dinner outing she had with fellow educators last week, I had not been able to stop thinking about her lament. What can we do to encourage educators doomed to become extinct industrial-age dinosaurs to use technology? In my comments to her, I voiced that I was going to focus my efforts on those educators who are working hard to change the way they teach, mainly because I am assured that my energy will be put to good use! I have begun to shine huge spotlights on teachers in my school who are trying new technologies, engaging their kids in projects that are collaborative, thought provoking, and technology-infused! I have posted their class projects/products on our wiki, in emails (cc-ed to the superintendent and others at the CO), on my blog, and anywhere else I can think to put them. Guess what? My phone is ringing off the hook! Teachers calling to check out the new ELMOs, the Qwizdom sets, the projectors! It is like with children in our classrooms, praise and support goes much further (and promotes fantastically infectious energy) than complaints and constant nagging! I’m going to continue to focus on the courageous educators around me!
Now, back to the reason for this post! My son, Carlos, a 7th grader, came home today excited that he had gotten to see the new wiki of his social studies teacher, Ms. Unangst. They read some laptop guidelines from it as a class, and then, using the laptops, were guided to a link on the wiki where they worked at a geography website. Although this lesson did not utilize the wiki in the collaborative sense, it’s a start! Just the fact that my 7th grader, who rarely speaks about school unless provoked by his meddling mother, was excited about it speaks volumes! Way to go Danita, for continuing to open the eyes of educators at our middle schools! Some of them ARE listening!
Flickr: Black Swan Cocktail Cap