Saturday, January 23, 2016

Reflections on Recent Readings (weekly)

  • Some interesting ideas on different ways that teachers can reflect and document their journey. I've really emphasized journaling more this year (since last year most fellows did not do it consistently) and I think that has been really valuable. I like to ask follow-up questions and probe more with their journal entries, which normally takes the first 5-15 minutes of our coaching meetings, but I think is very valuable in their journey. I've challenged my fellows to get on Twitter and to even consider blogging, but I know those are huge steps for some teachers. I started a collaborative blog at (currently empty, but hopefully will have posts soon!) for fellows to join in and share what they are trying in their classrooms. I have some interest; it's just a matter of helping them "find the time" and see the value in finding that time. There are several that want to do it, so I hope this will be the start of something great. Beyond the collaborative fellow blog, I've challenged each of my fellows to write a guest blog post for my blog once this semester, either on a specific lesson they implemented or a year-end reflection on their journey. We'll see how this goes!
    tags: blog
  • I like the idea of tech being your "secret sauce" that makes your classroom better, not something extra to add on. Teachers that are struggling to adopt a technology-enhanced pedagogy struggle with that fact and can't get past the "it's one more thing" mindset. I like to think of technology as impacting teaching and learning in four ways: making things more effective, efficient, engaging, or enjoyable for teachers and/or students. My fear is that teachers won't see the immediate impact of a tool (and really how it can shift pedagogy to something new and different than what they are used to) and say, "well this won't make teaching / learning more effective / efficient / engaging / enjoyable so I'm not going to try it". Sometimes we need to take risks and try new things without knowing how it is going to turn out or how it's going to affect our classroom - and then we can reflect and judge after the fact if it's worth continuing. Not after one attempt, because that doesn't give a fair view of it, but after you "Reflect, Refine, and Collaborate" and try the tool in a few different ways. At that point, I'm okay with giving something a "no-go"... but we have to get to that point first!
    tags: blog
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