Time to Tinker…
“The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions the more likely there’s gold in letting go of them.” John Seely Brown
I snapped the photo above this morning during our staff professional learning session. The photo was taken while our entire academic staff; Educational Assistants, Early Childhood Educators and Teachers were exploring some media as part of our BYOD Staff Meeting. For those who are acronym weary (or wary) BYOD means ‘Bring Your Own Device’; a process that is growing in popularity in schools due to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets among our student population.As a school we are beginning to wrestle with the challenges of incorporating student-owned devices into our learning environment, a departure from the past practice of banning them. As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them.
A big part of our school improvement plan focus is learning how to teach and lead classrooms in this type of environment. For most of educators this is a big shift and the caution and care we are taking as we navigate this shift is critical; for our students, parents and for our staff. This is one of the reasons why we are investing in tablets for our staff to use as teaching and learning tools and refreshing our school technology inventory. It is also why we are looking at the careful introduction of the use of student personal devices as learning tools at school and why we were tinkering with our own devices today. In order to lead it, we have to learn it~ and we have lots to learn.
The nice part about today was the fact that all of us were together learning, again. We all know that last few months have, in many ways, not been business as usual, with the labour issues consuming time and attention. It’s important for me to point out that during this time our classrooms have continued to be places where children have been safe, secure and happily learning. Over the past few months I’ve observed focused, rich teaching and learning and I’ve had the chance to work closely, at the classroom level, with many of our staff. But, I did miss the chance for us to meet together as a staff to learn.
When kids ask me what my ‘job’ is I tell them I have two; making sure everyone in our school is safe and ensuring that everyone (students, staff and parents) is learning. It’s important for parents to know that on most PA Days, like today, we are at the school learning.
Of course, the other highlight of the day was the opening of JK registration. One of the things I love about my job is greeting our new JK students and parents (especially those who are registering their first born). Though I missed a few families, I had the chance to welcome most of our new families today and that; along with our staff learning session, made today a good day.