Today was a PD hosted at my school to teach teachers how to take Thinking Maps and Constructing Meaning to the next level. Participants learned various strategies about incorporating sentence frames with thinking maps and then to add rigor…add Thinking Tools. It was an informative workshop. Everything was going really well until I revealed that everyone was encouraged to upload their lessons to a shared folder in GoogleDocs. I knew it would be challenging to get teachers just to make an account for Google, but I thought I had it covered by making a “How to” list for them. What I didn’t count on was the fact that the server would be down today which meant that over half the staff was unable to access the Internet. At all. For the whole day.
Are you kidding me?! Our CRA doesn’t return until next Wednesday. Our first staff day is next Tuesday. How are teachers expected to get ready for the start of the school year if they can’t get on their computers until the day before school? It’s not like these teachers waited until the last minute…we have one week left of summer. Many of them came today to learn new strategies. But over half of them (I suspect it was nearly half) were unable to participate in sharing their hard work.
I was really bummed that technology chose today to not work. Do you know how hard it is to get my staff to use technology??? They are so hesitant. Almost afraid. And I get it. Technology is scary. It’s constantly changing. And some of them are just along for the ride. But when a PD is created around the idea of using the Internet (more specifically GoogleDocs)…and half of the staff can’t access their account, what good does that do for us? Argh.
What a frustrating way to start the school year. At least my school scored 803 on the CST. Finally…we made it to 800. But we’re still PI. We have a long way to go. And technology is quickly becoming a frustrating barrier.