I am banking on one very important thing this year: that the use of publicity will continue to raise the tide of change and lift more boats.
For the last two years, I have managed a district technology blog called Tech Dossier. This year, I have reconstituted it thanks to a few posts by Miguel, but changed it slightly. First, the name: from Tech Dossier, to The Dossier. I truly want to move away from the inclusion of the word technology in any of the titles I use. Through several conversations with people like Barry Bachenheimer and Patrick Chodkiewicz, I’ve come to realize that semantics matter, especially to teachers. It’s not about how to use technology when you teach, but rather it’s about how you can teach, period. Second, to match the semantic shift in the title, the focus of the articles has now broadened to include topics that are not solely technologically based, but rather a highlight of some of the innovative practices our teachers are using. We have teachers in all of our buildings who constantly push their thinking and their students thinking. I’d like to get there and find them; the rest of the district, and the world at large should be seeing what they are doing.
I’ve enlisted several people to write over the two years, and this year we’ve added a second-grade teacher from one of the elementary schools to the list of authors. We’ve got three administrators, two high school teachers, a middle school teacher, a tech coordinator, and now an elementary teacher writing and looking out in their buildings for ingenious ideas. Also, being no stranger to shameless promotion, I send out a bi-weekly email highlighting all of the posts that have appeared. I am trying to get a feed service to send it to our global address book, but somehow I think that may either get flagged as spam, or individual teachers would not recognize it as an important message and just delete it.
The idea of doing some reporting, let’s even call it micro-reporting due to the short nature of the posts, on what is going on instructionally within you building is a gold mine. While our commenting has been limited so far, our stats are through the roof, so I know people are going to the page. At this point that’s all I want: people to know that others are out there looking for them, trying to catch them being competent and taking risks.
Head on over to The Dossier, and check out what our teachers have been up to.
Image Credit: “Reporter’s Notebook, U.S. Version,” from niclas’ photostream