So I haven’t blogged since mid-September, which is much less than I want, but as it is, I’ve been busy. Which is good! I’ve been working with faculty here at UNI and teachers in our partner schools to use technology in their courses. I thought I’d share a major theme that has emerged over the last month: it’s all about access and support.
Not surprisingly if you give educators the tools and time to learn how to use them, they’re going to create some amazing things for their students to be engaged with during their courses. However, this often isn’t the case in many schools. For any number of reasons the access just isn’t there. However, with the grant, I’ve been able to help provide access to a number of educators. This access has taken many different forms, from equipment to software to my time and to the time of those around them. This certainly shouldn’t be anything new, but I sometimes think we forget that if we simply provide the time for teachers to work together toward a common goal, they can accomplish amazing things. Like we should ever doubt them. They teach our kids. They should be some of the most trusted people we know.
But providing access to technology and the right people has only been part of the theme. The other part is support. This support has expressed itself in many ways, such as: administrative support before, during, and after professional development, technical support, curricular support, and sometimes, moral support. There have been ups and downs over the last month, but we’ve always held strong and kept moving forward. We haven’t let problems derail us in our pursuit of our goals. Often the best solution is asking teachers what support to be successful and then following through. It doesn’t always mean being immediate, but it does mean following through.
This has been a little big picture, but as I look at my experiences over the last month, there are too many to describe here. The pace is likely to keep up until November and then I’ll take some time to debrief more specifically. Until then, here are some helpful tips to help guide your work.