Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A fisherperson is born

You know, you never can be sure what kind of impact you are having on people. When ever I provide a professional development opportunity I feel it is my job to explain what I do and what I feel my job is. Just about every time I state that this professional development opportunity has a duel purpose. The first purpose is to give you ideas on how you can use technology to engage, educate and facilitate student learning in the classroom. The second thing that I say is that this professional development opportunity is to help provided professional growth for you as a life long learner, which in turn will help you improve your craft. Last week when I was asked by Cindy Crandall to present Google Tools to Franklinville Central School teachers, I basically had the whole day to show them things that they could use in education. I created a workshop wiki with embedded videos so teachers could refer back to it if they had questions long after I was gone. The videos didn't load well and the wiki did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. But something great happened. Many times when I show a teacher a tool they really just want to know ideas on how to use the tool in the classroom and I often have a tough time with that. No one knows their curriculum and how the tool fits into it better than the classroom teacher. I try to show examples of how it is used in the classroom and often they can think of ways to use it. Rarely, does the teacher think about how the tool can help them with their professional growth. Well, it happened. After the training was over, one of my participants from my Google Tools workshop went to Tim Clarke's offering and he asked participants what they wanted to go over the next day. One teacher, Diane Watkins, who was in my workshop earlier, said, "I would like to go over some things in Excel." And actually, Tim is really an expert on Excel. So the next day came around and Tim decided to write on the white board things people wanted to work on during their "work day" and of course Tim wrote down Excel. Well, Diane who had suggested it the night before said to Tim, "I really don't need you to go over Excel with me." Tim ask, "why?" And the teacher said, "Well, Rick showed me YouTube so I looked up an Excel tutorial and learned it myself." When I heard this I was thrilled. I felt like an artist had painted a master piece that was inspired by me.

1 comment:

Sheryl said...

Great story! I agree. The best outcome of professional development is to teach to everyone to fish.... to find and discover things on their own as they interact with their Personal Learning Network.