Creating an innovation plan has been an eye-opening process. Establishing where change is needed was not a difficult task, as I am reminded daily of the problems teachers face with using technology in their classrooms.
While accessibility to technology devices is a challenge in many school districts, it is not a problem in mine. With more than 500 devices in our building, many classrooms are 1:1 iPad environments. But even with the access to the tools they need, a majority of my colleagues lack motivation to creating innovative, blended learning opportunities for their students. Instead, the devices remain in their carts, and are occasionally used for activities unrelated to the curriculum or what the instructor is teaching in class.
Blended learning is not a new concept. It’s proven as an effective strategy in classrooms around the world, and as data continues to indicate its effectiveness, more and more teachers around the globe are becoming more motivated to including it in their own classrooms. And yet, in many school districts, there is still a reluctance to do so. My research of literature associated with blended learning and technology in schools indicates a couple of reasons for this lack of motivation. It is on this research that my plan for Motivating Blended Learning Environments (MoBLE) has been based.
I’m already off to a great start in motivating my colleagues to use technology. I’ve posted newsletters, offered ideas, and helped teachers learn how to use apps that I’ve made available on their iPads. I’m teaching students in the computer lab how to use O365, and I’m having them share their cloud-based documents with their classroom teachers, which makes it easier for my colleagues to use the tools with their own lessons. Some teachers have come to me for assistance in using new tools and have already made arrangements to meet with me for help this week.
I’ve made it my goal to work with each of the apps I’ve made available to teachers on their iPads. I plan to use my Professional Learning Networks to help learn how best to use them in the classroom so I can help my colleagues use them effectively. These networks include EdTech Magazine
LinkedIn groups (Technology Leadership Network, Education 2.0, K12Tech, ISTE and TechinEDU)
I’ve also discovered a book called Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom by Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wildeen. The book includes a number of great tools that are useful in teaching the core curriculum.