Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just Be Patient, Persevere, and Be Proactive! - A Great Message From a Continuous Learner

teacher iPad distributionImage by patricklarkin1967 via Flickr

Our staff have spent a great deal of time getting ready for our 1:1 deployment and increasing their comfort level with tools that they feel can help them create more engaging learning environments. It can sometimes be overwhelming for people to gain a comfort level with so many new resources available, but to simply keep doing things the same way we have always done them is akin to educational malpractice.  We need to create learning environments where problems are looked upon as opportunities and new possibilities are relished. 

"As a general rule, it is more important to try something new, and work on the problems as they arise, than to figure out a way to do something new without having any problems."
I love this quote because I think it epitomizes what we need to reinforce in education to ensure that being a learner means being a problem solver. Along this line it brings to mind a discussion I had with Van Meter, Iowa Superintendent of Schools John Carver that talks about the fact that we need schools that are learner-centered environments rather than teacher-centered environments. Additionally, the teachers are learners as well as the students.

Having said this, I got the e-mail below from one of our staff members that sums up the attitude that all learners need:

I cannot thank you all enough for yesterday's iPad class. It really motivated me. I'm one of these people who struggle with grasping new concepts quickly. It has been this way for years. But, I'm an over achiever and a type-A when it comes to learning and success. That is probably why I do well with students who possess the same learning styles as mine...
So, I struggled with Socrative initially. I spent most of yesterday during our iPad class at school trying to learn this and excel at it. I went home and spent 2 + hours on it. I finally got my kids (who have been patient with me) to take quizzes (one in French and the other in Spanish) using this absolutely wonderful new tool!!!! My kids kept on saying, "Mom, the arrow keeps spinning saying waiting for teacher." Well, after about another 30 minutes, SUCCESS, SUCCESS and SUCCESS.
Thank you again. I've learned the secret to mastering technology: JUST BE PATIENT, PERSEVERE AND BE PROACTIVE!!! IT WILL WORK!!!! YEA!!!
While the availability of technological resources is important, having dedicated teachers who see themselves as learners is critical. In Burlington we are fortunate to be well equipped with both staff and physical resources. As long as we can continue to provide all of our learners with the support they need we cannot fail! 

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