A few weeks ago, 50 teachers joined an internal google plus community meant to connect them to each other as we all began to take on the digital learning challenge. In a few weeks, these teachers began to create, share and freely ideate their goals for professional growth…all within the safety of our community. Last week, their challenge was to create a blog and share it, a completely new venture for most. It was uplifting reading their profound thoughts, taking a glimpse inside their classroom trips and reading reflections of risk taking with the greatest rewards…students owning their learning.
Amidst the chaos of digital learning purchasing (I’m talking to YOU Minecraft EDU and YOU Apple Volume Purchasing), chromebook enrollment, GAFE setup, Brightbytes data collection/analysis, professional learning plans and even a few top secret (mindblowing) initiatives along the way…it has been truly heartwarming to hear how teachers are excited to try new ideas or how they’ve shared what they are learning with others in their building…and they want to try too.
— Jennifer Winters (@jwinter13121044) November 11, 2015
I’ve loved watching our principals transform into digital leaders…risk takers. To see schools completely change the way that they collaborate just by adopting a few ideas is one of those wins that hits you in the gut when you least expect it.
Our district specialist are new to this world and so far, even with my constant blurting out of tools that we have to try (and yesterday), haven’t yet run for the hills! They’re both growing together, learning…and allowing themselves to be vulnerable. Of course, we are blogging and even recording short tutorials for our teachers and principals on our own collaborative youtube channel. This district is pretty lucky to have two specialist who are so dedicated to supporting teaching and learning.
No, things are not perfect. Our wifi access needs work but it’s safe to say that we have all acknowledged it and will move forward while we make plans to fix it. Maybe we’ll temporarily need a few portable access points to account for classrooms needing access in their entirety while we do what we need to improve overall connectivity. Whatever we need to do, we’ll do it and that’s comforting.
There are moments when I get so stressed that I have to remind myself to stop and smell at the great things. Those stressful times are usually met with something awesome even when I didn’t expect it. Like…
The principal who taught herself to code and started a coding club on her campus
The principal who decided to use google classroom for a book study with her staff
The principal who said that he called another principal to ask how they were being more productive and collaborative…implementing those ideas on his campus too
The teacher who said, “I was so excited about the ideas that I learned at Fall Virtcon that I completely changed my thinking in my classroom”
The student who excitedly shared his collage of adjectives with us that he created when his teachers said, for the first time…”Let’s try BYOD”
The students who were excited to collaborate via padlet because their teacher took the risk to learn and get her campus on board!
All of our Digital Ambassadors, patiently waiting on their devices, and blogging…finding their voices in the world!
The digital learning specialist and executive assistant who decided to enroll all of the chromebooks themselves so that we could get them done faster
Learning to reinstall chrome when a teeny tiny mishap deemed it necessary.
The principal, who is modeling formative assessments with her staff, using Plickrs as I type this blog…
When you leave work, worried…stressed…think of the Wins. Smile and do it all over again tomorrow. #LufkinLearns