Finding the Rabbit

Thanks to Chris Sessums for drawing my attention to this:

Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us. Dir. Michael Wesch. 2007.

A link of David Warlick’s post to Julie Coiro’s recent work got me motivated. A lot of my thinking lately has been directed in not only digesting the power of connectivism and the potential of Web 2.0 as it applies to school, but also how to sell it to educators. My job is to facilitate the use of technology in classrooms and to support the staff as they implement it.

It requires a little more when we begin talking about an entire pedagogical shift. It becomes a matter of first making it meaningful to the staff. I would never want to ask a teacher to stand in front of a room of students, especially the digital natives that we have in class today, and have them teach using Web 2.0 tools, unless that teacher had bought in themselves.

Coiro uses the Miss Rumphius Awards as an example for steps that teachers should take when integrating technology in a meaningful way. I like them for what I want to do, and how I want to approach my staff. Taken directly from her site, here they are:

1. Start out small and move through stages.
2. Take a few risks along the way.
3. Take a proactive approach to learning.
4. Encourage your students to share their expertise.
5. Never underestimate the power of collaboration.
6. Seek authentic learning opportunities.
7. Be prepared for change.

Every district has what I term “rabbits,” and this term was bandied about at the conference with Will Richardson on Friday. This morning, I listened to his podcast with Rob Mancabelli regarding how to implement social networking technologies into existing schools and the idea of passion and meaning in regards to selling districts on these ideas matched up succinctly with the idea of the “rabbit.” We need these tools to mean something to our staff before we ask them to take it to the students. They have to buy in and see the value for themselves as learners, before they use them as teachers.

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