Shove them in a room

Learning hub

Shove them in a room and let them learn

Offer teachers a meeting and they will invariably spray grapefruit juice over you and say they have better things to do with their time and lessons to prepare. Give teachers training , though, and that training will go to work in a thousand ways. In my post about managing technology I explained how important it was to ensure teachers felt competent and the difference that makes in classroom practice and beyond. I also mentioned in that post that our office has naturally become an ICT learning hub just because it has a good mix of teachers in terms of experience, interests and culture. Recess time can be like that, too. I remember one recess where we were all discussing what we did with our iPads and the relative merits of the large iPad versus the mini one. It was  amazing how differently we all used our iPads. It was an informative, lively discussion. One of the strengths of teachers is they are gregarious by nature. They are always reluctant meeting attenders but put them in a room together and they will find things to talk about and they will discover new things for learning. That leads me to the belief that one of the effective ways of enabling teachers with technology is to shove them in a room for a designated amount of time and give them a technology topic. I’d say an hour at the least with an option to extend to 2 hours. Ask them to get their phones out and share what they do with them. Ask them to share the best thing they have done with technology. Shove them in a room with iPads and ensure some of them are good at this and let them discover what can be done. Let them explore whiteboard use and FLEXIBILITY. Let them share the best software they know or the best apps. The group has to have some who are good at something and then you just let teachers explore.They might spend the whole time on the one area but they would probably naturally extend it into other things. It’s called learning. This week in the office we have been looking at software and how we use it. We didn’t set a topic . It just happened that way. Once you share all that discovery back into your main group then it will be that much stronger and more competent. That same practice can then be translated into classroom technology practice. Teachers are good like that. They will learn something for themselves and then automatically convert it into viable, multi-faceted classroom delivery.

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