Why – We need to prepare our students for jobs that might not even exist yet.
How – By exposing our students to a wide variety of apps and programs, we are teaching them, and ourselves along side of them, skills that they will need to function in the future.
What – By attending an optional “Appy Hour”, we will be exposed to exciting new apps and programs that we can use in the classroom to let our students collaborate, communicate, and create.
So often, educators get caught up with what happens on their campus and become entrenched in this sort of bubble around their school. By reminding teachers that we have to prepare our students for life after Moore, both in middle school where 1:1 is becoming the norm, and for their future careers, they will be more open to new ideas and new ways to teach in their classroom using technology.
By making “Appy Hour” optional and not mandated by the school, the teachers who are choosing to attend will hopefully become a core group who are out there trying new things. This group will directly influence others in their pods as we are in the unique position of not having walls in our classrooms.
During “Appy Hour” we are spreading the message and starting the hard conversations that we cannot be satisfied with the “status quo”. One teacher at our last meeting, who is retiring in the next few years, even exclaimed, “I am here because I refuse to phone it in these last few years. I easily could, but that is not what I want to do.”
By showing the teachers what we have already used just this year, in our Kindergarten classrooms, the idea of it is too hard or I don’t have time is addressed in a positive way. One of the largest obstacles is addressed by Davis (n.d.) as “if employees do not see a crisis that requires change, they will not be motivated to engage in the change effort.” By sharing stories of my own children, who are in the district and did go to Moore, and some of the technology challenges that they have faced, the teachers will see that we are not doing everything that we can do to prepare our kids for the future.
Davis, B. (n.d.). Establishing a Sense of Urgency in Kotter’s Model: Definition & Explanation. Retrieved January 24, 2016, from http://study.com/academy/lesson/establishing-a-sense-of-urgency-in-kotters-model-definition-lesson-quiz.html
And finally, here is my 11 year old and her view on using technology in the classroom. It’s funny that she had to write out what she wanted to say on her phone (technology) and then her phone turned off and she couldn’t finish (technology). I always use my children as the experts when I am looking at technology in the classroom!