Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Working with teachers and blogging for blogging's sake

I have been struggling my health a little bit lately, hence the blogging has suffered. But each time I think about it and not post, I realise that I'm losing the momentum. And I don't want to do that. The stream of thought that comes with blogging is really important.
So to keep things going I'm going to be a little kind to myself and rely on the generosity ( and brainpower) of others to ensure that I have something reasonably interesting to post.
Chris Betcher recently blogged about Bryn Jones 11 Things that make a difference in using ICT to improve learning.
Briefly they are
1. Emotional Support
2. A shared pedagogical understanding.
3. A constructivist philosophy
4. At least 4 computers per classroom
5. Help to access appropriate material
6. Just in time technical skills and support
7. Reliable infrastructure
8. Access to professional development(but not necessarily participating in it)
9. Links from home to school
10. Leadership
11. Flexible Learning Space
All of these factors ring really true to me in my role at school. For me personally I would add another couple. One is persistence. Most days I try to be like the blow up clown that is weighted at the bottom so that no matter how hard you hit it, it will keep bouncing up. I must admit lately I have really felt like staying down. But any change takes a long time and so in my role I have to accept that I just have to keep bouncing back, presenting ideas and encouragement over and over again until someone takes up an idea. (or until they are so sick of me they do it to shut me up)
Another is time. I am extremely lucky in my job to be able to devote a lot of time to learning and exploring exactly what is out there. (and I get paid for it!) If I was a full time classroom teacher I know I would still be passionate about technology but I wouldn't have the time to learn as much. I know I'm slightly twisting Chris's intent here but in Chris's post called The Challenge of being a Life Long Learner he talks about the relentless aspect of lifelong learning. And it's true. The nature of the web makes it even more so. So what teachers need is time to explore, to learn and to practise.
I'm sure there are lots more but that will do me for now. Thanks Chris and Bryn. You don't even know it but you are helping me through a rough patch.