Connecting with Everyone

When I consider my faculty, I see a multitude of learning levels with technology. Not unlike a classroom of students, instruction for all levels needs to be planned and implemented. I'm available for formal or informal coaching sessions with teachers, but what about the learners that aren't asking for help? In a classroom, do we ignore these students? Of course not, we differentiate the instruction to meet their needs. We meet them where they are. I feel I need to do the same with teachers.

Blogging is a great way to disseminate information, ideas and ask questions. But what if the audience you are targeting doesn't all read the blog? Even if they do have a reader service, what if they are way behind on their reading? They won't know that you are giving them essential information. Sometime when I log in to my reader it's too overwhelming to ever catch up. I try to think of these things when I think of other teachers.

Wanting to find an avenue to connect with everyone is where the idea for the technology newsletter was born. I know it seems kind of old school, but almost anyone will take a moment to read a flyer or newsletter. kick it up just a notch with hyperlinks and a limited amount of information - waaa lah! When I began planning the newsletter I considered doing it in Google docs with a newsletter template, but I wanted it to look as much like a traditional newsletter as possible so I simply created it in Microsoft Publisher and then converted it to a .pdf file. I may try docs or Google sites in the future, but I wanted to start out with this and get some feedback.

All of that being said, I almost didn't blog about this. I pictured people running across this post and thinking, "She's doing a newsletter?!? What's up with that?" but then I decided to take a risk and put my thinking out there for you. I just know this will meet the needs of some adult learners and I'm hoping there will be enough interesting tidbits to keep the interest of my advanced learners. Maybe I'm overthinking it all. Sometimes I think about things to the point where the obvious is not apparent! :)

What do you need as a learner? How are you meeting the needs of the learners you are responsible for?


Anonymous said...

As a learner my biggest need is time. I love the break out sessions during early release days but I never seem to have enough time to process the information I learn or to practice what I have learned. I just watched a few voice threads posted on other teachers' blogs and though I attended a session on voice thread over a month ago, I still haven't tried it. We did, however, dip our toe into our wikispace!!
Cheryl C.

I understand the time factor for sure! And sometimes, new learning simmers for a while before you can put it to use...the fact that you are learning is the important part. Just look at what a blogger you have become! :) I can't wait to see your wikispace! That's a big step! :)

Dillon said...

Well I must say it's somewhat innovative considering what I've seen done. It's kind of neat. There could be other interesting applications to the idea in of itself that has me thinking now. It'd be kind of nice to get a newsletter that contains several of the blogs from my RS feeder, with a 'more' link for the full post. That's probably dreaming though. I don't try to keep up with my Reader anymore though, I go by whatever catches my attention now-a-days. Like this.

Cheryl Oakes said...

Melanie, You are spot on, as my friend Terry Freedman often reminds me, put the information out to people in a variety of ways, blog, podcast, newsletter, email, google form! You are also right about letting people get a taste of something new, then letting them let the idea simmer and finally a new blogger is born, a new voicethread appears, a new newsletter! A couple of my teachers are loving Letterpop, this year. So do their parents.
Good luck, keep trying new ideas and sharing.

Jo McLeay said...

Melanie, this is a thoughtful post and I particularly like how you start from the needs of the learners (and we are all learners). We should not through out the old if it is still useful, just because something new has come along. I agree with Cheryl, just get it out there.