One of the weird things about blogging is that I simply can not predict what entries are going to hit home.Â I never would have thought that a simple and casual mentioning of a site I’d heard about for years would be one of them, but the RateMyTeacher post kicked up a storm!
The comment that I thought I’d mention here came from a primary teacher (their podcast) and blogger in South Wales, Paul Harrington.Â He asks an important question that I want to toss out.Â Harrington says,
…how can I a primary teacher in
South Wales who has been bitten by the bug of web 2.0 technology (podcasting and blogging plus using other IT across the curriculum)
spread this to my hard pressed colleagues – I have done some in-house
training and given demonstrations in house of what is possible – but
schools donâ€™t move very fast to take up technology as staff have too
many other pressures on them. I am frustrated as I can see what they
could do with the technology – but it can be tiring being an evangelist
in the wilderness ( I approached my local Education IT Training Agency
– I donâ€™t think that they understand web 2.0 !!!!! I may be wrong )
My first question is, “Have any of your teachers been rated on RateMyTeachers?”Â If so, don’t show them.Â They’ll freak.Â At this point, I’d just like to suggest some directions from which we need to tell this new story about teaching and learning in this digital, networked, and overwhelming time of rapid change.
- Stories from outside — stories from the world, for which we are making our children ready.
- Stories from within — stories about new technologies and their impact on learning.
- Stories from above — get administrative buy-in if you can.Â Be professional, but be persistent.
- Stories from below — tap into the kids’ conversations.Â Pay attention to them.Â Ask them what they do for fun and compare that with what we did for fun when we were eight, twelve, and sixteen.Â Make a case for how different these children are.
The advice I can’t resist giving at this point is for you to form a study group around modernizing classrooms in your locale. Find one or more teachers in each of your schools, especially going up into the middle and upper grades.Â Find fertile ground in all of your schools and then plan your siege.Â You need information and lots of ways to share it.Â Set up a computer in the teachers lounge and have a presentation running on it such as Karl Fisch’s “Did you Know” slide show or his more recent, “What If?“.
I think that you just need to get people talking.Â Invite the media in (though do this very carefully as sometimes notoriety can backfire).Â Figure out how to get parents other than yours to listen to the podcast.
That’s all I’m going to say here.Â
Other suggestions are requested.
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