With the Christmas season and report cards weighing down on me, I’ve been playing around with the idea of an “Appy Hour” for the last few weeks too. I cannot take credit for the name as someone on Twitter mentioned it to me in one of my chats but I really like how it sounds. Throughout the rest of the year and next, I want to use “Appy Hour” as a catalyst to change the practices and views that the teachers in my school, and eventually maybe my school district, have about using apps and programs in the classroom.
How did I get to the “Appy Hour” idea? It was a multi-step approach. You can click on the following links to go through my journey.
I have already begun to implement my “Appy Hour” in my building and I can see some strengths and weaknesses in my idea. I think I need to add more incentives to get teachers more excited to attend. Being that I have no real funds available, I am going to offer a teacher “break” to a door prize winner and take their class for 30 minutes during my planning time to have an IPad party. I also think that I am really going to have to go out there and sell this idea to my more resistant staff. I have been trying to work my magic on a few people and hopefully the word will spread how non-threatening these meetings really are. I plan on continuing “Appy Hour” through the rest of the school year.
I also plan on taking a similar proposal to my school district to see if something similar could be offered at the district level. I would love to see it not be all ages together, but more broken down by Elementary, Middle School/Junior High, and then High School. While I feel we have much to learn from each other, I know when an idea seems irrelevant to my age level, I tune it out. I don’t want to see this happening.
I still intend to coach the participants of “Appy Hour” through the grant writing process in our district, and also would like to encourage them to write grants through Donors Choose. I feel like having the technology all the way across the building where it is not accessible may be part of the lack of buy-in I am getting from teachers.
I would also like to start a twitter chat about “Appy Hours” around the country where collaboration of ideas and strategies can be shared. I will more than likely go through my ISTE board “Mobile Learning” to get advice how to start such a task.
Finally, I am going to keep pushing this idea, 100%, no matter what the outcome. I want to show the sense of “urgency” that I feel in getting the teachers on board with using mobile technology and apps in their classrooms to make the learning more student-centric.
Some books that I am interested in reading to elevate my knowledge in educational technology in general are Mastering Mobile Learning by Chad Udell and Leading From Below the Surface by Theodore B. Creighton. I have also started to read How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Technology Age by Dale Carnegie and Associates by the recommendation of my professor. I hope these books will make me a better communicator but also deepen my knowledge both of the struggles in the classroom and also give me a strong background in mobile learning. For teachers who may be reading my blog and hearing about disruptive innovation for the first time, I highly recommend going on You Tube and looking up the video presentations that are there.
Carnegie, D., & City, N. (2012). How to win friends and influence people in the digital age (Paperback ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster.
Creighton, T. (2005). Leading from below the surface: A non-traditional approach to school leadership. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press.
Udell, C. (1). Mastering mobile learning. Pfeiffer.