There comes a point in a teacher’s Web2.0 journey, where the ideas, methods, tools and understanding clicks – with students. When do you tell colleagues?
When students start to use the resources, participate and begin to bind together as a learning community – you’ll know it. To get there you will fail time and time again.
You tell ‘you are there’ is when you are getting inbox-pings from your wiki, blog, Ning etc., talking place between students – after school (and not homework).
This is the tipping point where you have created an effective learning climate for students. This means that you can focus on the learning, and not worry about the ICT in valuable face to face lessons. Students take the conversation online; in a social-plenary. You can achieve this with ONE tool. Its about leadership.
I mentioned this quote yesterday, but it applies here too.
Collis and Moonen (2002) identified, ‘An individual’s likelihood of voluntarily making use of a particular type of technology for a learning-related purpose is a function of four ‘E’s: the environmental context, the individual’s perception of educational effectiveness and of ease of use, and the individual’s sense of personal engagement with the technology’ (p. 219).
Collis on Moonen were talking about teacher participation. It seems equally to apply to students.
The uphoria that follows this tipping point often sees teachers wanting to yell and celebrate. They want to share their success with colleagues (not the Twitter-buddies). I refer you back to Collis and Moonen – as your success may be discounted or even sabotaged by those who don’t agree or feel uncomfortable by what you are doing.
Fisher, Higgins, & Loveless, 2006 “there is an assumption that teachers will learn with digital technologies but there is little research on how they will learn”.
There is a gap between formal learning and informal professional development. There is little research into the ‘how’ that is turning ordinary teachers into metaverse warriors.
I think this partly because the epicenter of the ‘hidden Masters course’ is in K12, not higher education (yet).
So it’s really hard to evidence exactly ‘how’ teachers are now rethinking and relearning – if you are not part of the movement itself. It is not an easily observed thing. Imagine trying to get ethics approval for Twitter.
Many participate in continuous action learning in unstructured in social media groups; not a ‘training programme’. PLNs, bound together though metaverse connections; approach allows their individual concerns and needs to be met almost immediately rather than in a pre-planned scope and sequence of activities. This is very complex to understand – let alone explain to your peers or quantify using old methods.
If your students are engaged and active in the learning environments you create – you don’t need to try and convince others; you will have a tribe who will be spreading the word.
Be patient and focus on thinking about what is happening in your classroom and tuning it. Just accept that it’s complex, fragile and exciting. It can’t be designed from the outset – and the fact it often fails in the early days – is a good thing.
Sooner or later; colleagues will come to you. You can’t ‘do’ technology to people. Pick you moments well. Be considered and don’t rush in. If they come to you, it makes it 1000 times easier (if indeed you are interested in getting into the professional development of teachers). Enjoy your success and the students, PD of others – a whole new ball game.
Hoban, G., & Herrington, A. (2005). Why teachers are reluctant to use new technologies: Supporting teachers’ action learning within a web environment. In EdMedia 2005 (pp. 2581-2588). VA: AACE.
Collis, B., & Moonen, J. (2002). Flexible learning in a digital world. Open Learning, 17(3), 217-230.