Rushton Hurley – such a fun, outstanding presenter – one of California’s best – is starting Matching Teachers and Technology: Good Ideas, Common Mistakes by sharing Shorewood High School’s Lip Dub reverse order video. How cool is that to involve a whole school in project?! (And here’s a link to show how they put the project together.)
Rushton is opening the session’ with a hilarious, topic-related multiple-choice quiz. An now into the session topic, starting with some do’s and don’ts.
Part 1: Training:
Don’t let teachers require themselves to be technology experts! Do remind teachers of their expertise. Example: If kid is turning in paper report or multimedia, you understand the content. Remind students that they have a multimedia option (but students are responsible to check equipment prior to due date) or they can do a poster. “Cool” matters. What about kids who don’t have computers at home? Let them work with others. In digital video projects, kids celebrate each others’ work.
Don’t schedule everyone at your site for a computer lab training! It’s not about something you’re being required to do; it’s about learning on a personal level. Do allow regular (and short) sharing time – like 2 minutes worth of sharing. Find out what others are doing. Good chance other teachers will have a similar idea/issue they’d love some help rolling into a video clip.
Don’t start with standards. Standards are important, but not as a starting point. Do show something fun. The professionalism of teaching comes down to understanding what it takes to get someone to care about learning something. IDEA: Use a tool/site such as flickr.com + Cool Iris to create sample of words that illustrate college majors. Why cool? Because concepts and words then become visually interesting. Hey, being able to capture a kid’s interest is so key!
Part 2: Using Funds
Don’t limit technology to labs. Do show what’s possible with one or two computers in the classroom.
Don’t buy expensive software a teacher hasn’t used. Do learn what’s freely available. How to ask for money: Explain to administrators, “This is what I’m already doing; and this is how I could expand it if I had…” IDEA: Wow them with Google SketchUp sample – so hands-on creative! If you want kids to think about astronomical issues, for instance, turn ‘um loose on SketchUp.
Don’t blanket the campus with expensive hardware. Do use targeted spending to focus purchases. Spend it on the teachers who will use the technology. You’ll anger a few on campus – but if you give something to everyone, you anger the teachers who are using the equipment. With grants, spend the taxpayers money well; send the equipment on to those who are using it.
Bottom line: Technology matters – If we never give students the to opportunity to explore, how will we know what they’re capable of. Technology connects us with kids in new ways.
Just checked my Twitter stream… it appears a ton of others sitting in this room share my opinion that Rushton’s session rocked!