Thursday, February 28, 2008

How Do You Get it?

I'm doing my Masters at the moment and this is giving me much cause to reflect on both my practice and the leadership in my school. The one question that I never seem to be able to answer is "why don't they get it??" - why do seemingly intelligent people, who I know read widely about education and the changes taking place in education - why don't they get what it all means???

They don't get that putting computers in the classroom isn't "Job Done". They can't tick the box. They can't move on. They don't get that having me run 1 workshop on "using the learning platform" won't make people suddenly say "hey I'll use that tomorrow"

They don't get it!!

And I don't get why they don't get it.... it is so bleedingly obvious to me!!

This week we looked at leadership issues and ICT - all of the research that I'm reading points to several key facts:
  1. vision - the leadership team of a school needs to create, articulate and get solid support from staff for a vision for the school
  2. understand the big picture - you don't need to be an expert - but you must understand where you are headed and why you are going there
  3. allow people to take risks - change is risky, change is challenging, allow people to experiment, have the no blame (not no responsibility) zone
  4. collaboration shouldn't be limited to our students - encourage and promote it amongst the staff.
Based on all of this I'm trying to come up with a Professional Development proposal for next year. Something that builds on the experience of my past 6 years here and the research that I'm now doing. I wonder if they'll get that?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why Jump Puddles?

I remember the joy of my childhood in rural Australia in the 70's - after a big rainstorm my sisters and I would rush to put on our gumboots and head out to jump puddles. With joyful abandon we would go from one to the next all afternoon splishing and splashing. Sometimes the puddles were too big and we'd land in them, sometimes they were too deep and we'd get really wet (didn't my Mum love that). The point however is that we had fun, we were adventurous and yes we did get wet - but we sure learnt how to judge the size of a good puddle to jump.

Where am I getting with all of this nonsense? Using technology in your classroom is sometimes like jumping puddles. Sometimes you pick too big a project and you'll land yourself right in it, sometimes you get it right and sail right over the top of it, landing safety on the other side (of the lesson). But every time you need to think this is an adventure.... it's ok to take risks... it's ok to make mistakes... it's ok if it fails and you end up wet and muddy.

My Mum never got too mad. She was just so proud that she had 3 adventurous kids that liked to take risks... Wouldn't it be great if all our Principals and Leadership Teams had the same attitude?