Sit…. Stay…. Facilitate Learning, Good Dog!

In our latest podcast Lance and I had the opportunity to interview Laurie-Ann Martin, an administrator at Ecole White City School. I was really excited to dive into the mind of an administrator and find out where she stood when it came to utilizing technology in the classroom. This was my first time meeting Laurie-Ann and we had a lot of fun and great dialogue about tech in the class.

This was an interesting podcast for me because I want to know how administrators feel about the use of personal learning devices and students being online for periods at a time. The interview did not disappoint, in fact I was quite happy with the product Lance and I put out this week. Not only did Laurie-Ann support the tech in education movement she is trying to get her teachers to use it more in their classes because that is where we are headed in the 21st century. She is a firm believer that we need to help our students and give them the tools necessary to find information and the networks online that they need in order to become successful in their education.

As an educator who is starting to implement technology more in my classroom I am finding it much easier to manage the work load I have at the end of the day. I no longer have to leave the school with buckets of papers at the end of the day looking like I had just been fired. I have all that I need stored on my computer, student produced work that has been shared with me. Life as a teacher is way more manageable now than it ever has been and that is because of technology. We just need to embrace this shift in our teaching ways….

Easier said than done? Not the case!

I have had countless conversations with teachers in the back half of their long careers as teachers about using tech in the class. The bottom line is that they are too intimidated OR struggle immensely when it comes to giving up control and becoming facilitators for learning. Can we teach Old Yeller new trick? I think we can but it would be a bit backwards in their minds and they would need to be open to my idea.

What if schools paired hesitant teachers (2-3) with a teacher fluent in the language of technology? We could help facilitate their learning and teaching styles and show them just how easy it can be to utilize tech in the classroom. This does not mean that they need to ditch everything that they have done throughout their careers that has been successful, no! They will now have different avenues in which they will be able to adapt their past knowledge and lessons with a technological twist. They won’t have to spout out facts, they can hand those reins over to the ever able youth of tomorrow and let them utilize their curiosity and collaborate over what they find with their assistance and the use of technology.

I think we have the capability to enhance learning environments in our classrooms, we just need to be able to take a stand and actively try to implement all of the great and different capabilities that the internet and technology has to offer. This is the shift that should be exciting for teachers, students, and parents!

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7 Responses to Sit…. Stay…. Facilitate Learning, Good Dog!

  1. thiessendallas says:

    I like the idea of pairing up teachers that might not be digitally literate with those that are. I think showing teachers the benefits of using technology (like not having to carry a bunch of papers out of the building like you described) as a great starting point for having those conversations. At our school we have PD partners, where we watch each other teach and give feedback much like having an intern. We also find time to plan and help each other out. Maybe this could be one way of pairing those teachers up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. @thiessendallas I like that idea. It would be nice to try to get some teachers out of their comfort zones, trying new things otherwise they are set to autopilot and that trend becomes a habit and they stunt their growth as educators. It would be nice to work with educators to improve ones professional development.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nathan Bromm says:

    Adam, I’m glad this administrator is open to advancing learning via technology as I feel they are the ones that can help spur a movement in this direction. I went paperless as part of my PGP two years ago- iPad to record marks, student checklists, day planner, documentation sent to me from STF etc. Now with using blogs in my class and grad class resources online, I can add that to the paperless movement. Almost everything I need in one easy to access place! Regarding age of teachers, I have found some younger teachers that are just as resistant to this movement as veteran teachers. I wonder why?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ittnation says:

    Adam, as an “Old Yeller” I sometimes have a hard time responding to such posts about the state of educational technology and the lack of “Old Yeller’s” to embrace technology. First, I’d like to qualify that I have been an admin for 13 years, taught for 23 and have been involved in re-vamping and re-culturing a number of schools. I have a bit of a background in technology. I wish to point out that it is not age that keeps people from embracing change but mindset. Experience or not, without a mindset that embraces a life-long-learning mindset, one that is open to change and the constant reconfiguration of social systems and social entities, such as schools and classrooms, there will be little chance that change will occur. I’d suggest that instead of following the tried & true generational argument, a new tact is in order or, like many people, you will alienate those around you that you wish to engage. It’s not where you are that is important but where they are and how you listen to what they have to say not how well you talk at them.

    This isn’t a new idea. it’s been done with students as mentors for teachers and other configurations. It’s not the technology. It’s the stories of the people, the relationships that are the foundation and it’s so important to listen to those stories and learn from them. I also had the answers to my own questions but forgot that it wasn’t my questions that needed answering.

    Food for thought!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great point and I agree, I think that there needs to be a balance between technology and the social aspect of education. I did not, by any means, try to alienate a generation when talking about utilizing technology in the classroom. I, for one, am guilty of being incredibly hesitant about incorporating tech in my class. There is a vast number of educators that are in the later part of their careers that are incredibly tech savvy and in that regard I think we could all learn from one another and bring a healthy balance of social and technological education. Thank you for the comment and I hope I clarified my stance a bit better.

      Like

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