This year I started monthly Lunch & Learn sessions for educational technology PD for teachers during their lunch bell. October through February, I chose the session topics, many of which covered our new school-wide LMS Schoology. March was designated as a Teachers’ Choice.
I sent out the pre-survey to see what teachers wanted to talk and learn about. Most had no preference and were up for learning anything. There was one suggestion that really stuck out to me. The person had asked if we could discuss technology in the classroom at our school. Seeing as we rarely have a forum for this (the little time for PD is jam packed teaching and learning the designated topic) and this is the time of year we start deciding on software, hardware, etc. needs for next year, I thought this was a great idea. I sent out an email before Thursday with some question prompts to start the conversation (below).
- What has worked really well for you in your classroom (lessons with tech, tech tools, etc.)? Why?
- What has not worked well for you in your classroom (lessons with tech, tech tools, etc.)? Why?
- What are some hardware or web tools you would love to use if we had it or a subscription/license to the site? Examples:
- Movie making software?
- Piktochart (infographics)?
- What hardware/web tools and software on your tablets do you use frequently? What aren’t you using very much?
Both lunch bells had some great ideas and feedback, and I think it was a much needed session and overdue conversation. We started off the Lunch & Learn watching a few clips of Adam Bellow’s ISTE 2013 Keynote (started at 38:35-39:44 and 44:25-50:00). There were a handful of requests from teachers for subscriptions and licenses to different web tools and sites. There was feedback about some of the current tools we have that can be passed on to the companies. There were philosophical discussions about how to use technology in the classroom, what types of activities are really making the most use of the tablets with students, and how much is too much?
One of the teachers who attended suggested creating a list of guiding questions for teachers to use when planning their lessons to best incorporate (or not to use) technology. She emailed me over the weekend to let me know she started working on the list! I think this is a great idea, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she came up with.
While I didn’t plan on using one of the Lunch & Learn sessions to essentially just talk, I’m really glad someone suggested it. It created a place to have conversations where there really was no formal space before. It also allowed myself, the Director of Technology, the Principal and the Director of Curriculum who each attended both sessions, to learn more about teachers wants and needs related to technology in the classroom. I’d say this Lunch & Learn may end up being the biggest success of them all!
How do you create a space for teachers to have this conversation?
Tech To You Later!