Over the past four years I’ve had the opportunity to work with teams of administrators and teachers from around the country. I’ve heard about many of the challenges they face integrating technology as well as many of their successes. One of the simplest lessons I’ve learned in that work is in the value of time to collaborate on a focused topic. Unfortunately, if teams do have time to collaborate, that time is often used to address the burning issue of the day or week. Although those issues are certainly important and may keep the ship from sinking, they don’t always move things forward.
How can your school create time that focuses specifically on ways to use technology to enhance the educational experience for your students? I’ve heard some great recommendations from colleagues around the globe. The most common theme that has come out of those sessions is a dedicated time slot with a focused theme. Schools often do a poor job recognizing all of the experts that work within the school walls. Having conversations locally also certainly increases the likelihood that the presenter will understand the context of the school! A couple of the more creative meetings I’ve heard described are:
Muggers meeting-A voluntary meeting with coffee and donuts provided where teachers share a technology tool that is working well for them.
Appy hour-A voluntary meet up of teachers to discuss apps that they use.