Below is a comment to a blog post made by an Australian teacher recently. In the post, he and the commenters are expressing frustration at trying to get their colleagues using blogs and wikis and all that, in a networked learning exercise involving international partners. I'm wondering, could those who are blogging professionally consider a post or two on their blogs about the comment below.. specifically, what everyday practices could blogging et al replace for the time stretched teacher? In other words, is web2 beneficial in terms of efficiencies for the way we currently work as teachers, or do we need to change more in what we do? Is using web2 technologies considered an on top of or in place of current work loads? Your thoughts and ideas on this central question facing change management in education would be very valuable.
Even though he was targetting the TALO community, I am very interested in his questions and would like to take his questions to my own readership. I'm happy for comments, your own blog posts linking back here or you can post to the TALO list direct. I added this as a supportive reply.
At the end of the year, my boss and I discussed the idea behind a reflective activity for the staff. (So many teachers are terrible at actual reflection). I pulled out an email from the PlotPD program (not free and not open to the web, but something available to our ed system) that talked about a TRY, KEEP and STOP system. It challenged teachers to identify something to TRY for the new year, a part of their practice they wanted to KEEP because it was successful and finally, something to STOP because you just can't keep adding things onto the plate! It is interesting that this idea had to be provided directly to so many teachers before they'll even consider that there are alternatives to maintaining the status quo.
Clay's point on my blog was really poignant. I think I find that I let things go without any conscious decision - also, once you've become comfortable online, "things" often fall into place because your network nodes provide a flow of ideas and resources in a timely fashion. I see my teaching in a constant state of reinvention and I rarely cover "the same stuff" with my classes from one year to the next. It is those teachers who've locked the whole curriculum down, designed their year from go to whoa over their career and believe that they are just tweaking their well honed methodologies who are in the most trouble when confronted with the reality that the world (and their students) have changed and will continue to change at an unprecedented rate.
Thanks for picking up the idea - Leigh. I too will be very interested in others' point of view.