You know the old saying “You can lead a horse to water…….”
Well, for over 5 (really 19 if you count my old job) — I have continually been leading “teachers” to opportunities. Sometimes with success but more often with total reluctance of “having something new to have to do”.
Though I am encouraging and also creative (tis true)……in a way…..the teachers which I work with (F2F) take my ideas/suggestions/etc as criticisms that they are not doing a good job. Since my role (on my campus) is not as the technology coordinator, I step back……my job is Netowrk/Help Desk …..so I continually blast out ideas (some received, some discarded) and hope some day they “drink”.
YET — On the other hand…..online……I have emails and projects filled with teachers who wish to try new ideas, wish to expand their classrooms, want to use creative ideas in their classrooms. It is not just send me ideas Jen — it is SEND ME MORE MORE MORE!!! I am dying of thirst here — HELP!!
And I wondered…..what is the difference.
And then a week or so ago, I had a glimpse of why.
In the space of less than 2 hours — 2 separate people came to me, F2F, with a need — which I was able to help them with. In this case — drop box. One is traveling to Italy and wanted a way to save the images he took with his new iphone 5 and the other needed a way to share documents quickly with a lot of people. I offered several suggestions — and both decided to go with dropbox. And within minutes, both were up and running……and they were ready to go.
And I am realizing is — the issue is……..the issues are……
a. They have to see the need — No matter how “great” or “helpful” the idea is…… and not just tech — things like rearranging rooms, bulletin boards, printing options, etc…….they have to see the need.
b. They have to want the need — more than the comfort of living with whatever is their situation at the time.
c. They are willing to learn the need – to ask for help.
d. The time just has to be right. (nor perfect, but right)
And 2 days ago, I saw this demonstrated again as I was showcasing Wordle and Tagxedo to the English department & someone questioned me about an email I had sent out earlier that day about Livebinders. I was sharing a bit about LB and casually mentioned, it could be your curriculum and suddenly one teacher almost erupted from her chair with an “Wait, you showed us this last year and I didn’t get it but — OH MY — I could use it with my AP students. Do they have ………?” and I showed her how to search for livebinders already created for the class she was teaching.
I think I keep trying to drag my staff to the waters of tech opportunities — telling them “you are thirsty, now drink, drink now, drink much, DRINK!!!” When perhaps I should continue to send out ideas, encouraging them with my words…..and in a way, putting up a sign that says “water over there” — and when they go to the watering hole, I am ready to hand them a cup….smiles, CUPS!!
Just my thoughts today