Things are really starting to get exciting at Davo when it comes to the Digital Education Revolution. I was reading Tim Hand’s blog post on the adoption of new technologies and reflecting on DER at Davo.
At my school, I can confidently say that I was the ‘innovator’ – I hate that word as for me it takes more than what I have done to be labelled as an ‘innovator’. I don’t think I’m terribly creative, or that I have created anything new – just kinda shown the way a little. I took on the role of DER T&L co-ordinator (I just invented that title by the way, do you like it?) and jumped into the wonderfully deep and exciting waters of a PLN – a twitter PLN. Based on the discussion on twitter, great blogs I was directed to, I was inspired to set up an online community by which our staff could communicate and share resources. We use edmodo for this.
Anyway, the group I’m the most proud of are the ‘Early Adopters’. The funny thing is that I tried to manufature a group of Early Adopters. It sounds silly, but I thought I should set up a group of people who would help me out with leading DER. I did create a group, but we haven’t done anything really. See, it was artificial. These early adopters must choose to experiement, they must choose to task risks. It must evolve. So, looking at the edmodo stream of chat and face to face discussion, I know who my early adopters are. They’re a great bunch. A varied bunch. Different KLA, different ages and teaching experiences, different skill level when it comes to technology. But they are there and they are enthusiastic. It’s way cool to watch!
But what is REALLY cool, is that I can confidently say that we have made it to a place where a large percentage of our staff can be labeled the ‘Early Majority’. The description that Tim offers (taken from the work of Everett Rogers) is that an early adopter is a person who is:
•Not technically focused
• Proponents of evolutionary change
• Pragmatic users
• Process oriented
• Averse to taking risks
• Look for proven applications
• May require support
• Tend to communicate vertically (focused within a discipline)
A number of factors have contributed to this development.
1. Our school is now fully wireless. Every learning space has wireless internet. This is very exciting.
2. The Year 9 group now have their netbooks. (Two classes per week with netbooks. Hmmm … better start taking this DER thing seriously.)
3. DER: Lunch and Learns
The first two are self-explanatory. The third might sound a little strange. So what are Lunch and Learns? Basically the idea manifested and grew on twitter – yep, the PLN are aflush with wonderful ideas. The notion of play is something that all of us tweetucators advocate. From this was developed the notion of 15 mins play:
So I devised a series of lunch time workshops that will focus on a variety of tech-related applications, software etc. These workshops occur once a week and are the springboard for teacher experimentation with technology, teacher discussion and a engagement with the ways in which technology can enhance learning. Here is a list of what we’re doing. Feel free to use this as inspiration for your own Lunch and Learns:
During the workshops I breifly become the ‘sage on the stage’ – explaining the application/tool/software that is the focus, giving some examples of it and starting a discussion on possible uses. The remainder of the time is spent playing around with it and chatting about how/why it would be used. Ideally teachers will go back, use it in their class and report back via edmodo about their experience – positive or negative. The feedback/reflection is a little slow in coming, but it’s something we’re working on.
Things are moving along at a nice pace at Davo. Teachers and students are learning – how cool is that?