The Questions in the MiddleIn my new position as Instructional Technology Coach, I am still trying to decide what needs teachers have and how to best fill those needs.
In my own professional development, I know that when I learn something new I walk away excited and when I try to attempt my new skill I have a glitch, come up with a question or sometimes it just isn't as easy as I thought! Not being able to go back to the training facilitator or friend who taught me something new makes it easy to give up.
The questions in between the learning can sometimes BE the learning for me. So, keeping that in mind, I decided that I wanted to have one morning before school each week where I will be completely free to be ready for "drop-in" help.
It was from this idea that BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) was born. I have the wiring set up for teachers to drop by with their laptop and plug in show me what they need help doing on their computer.
Just as I thought, the needs varied at our first BYOL session:
#1 Google Reader - A week ago, I delivered a short inservice on how to start with Google Reader
so a few people needed help with setting theirs up as well as how to toggle back and forth from the list to the reader to copy and paste the subscriptions.
#2 Setting up a Distribution List - My principal demonstrated this at a faculty meeting recently, so one person needed more help with how to get started setting hers up.
#3 Changing emails and passwords associate with accounts - A task that may seem simple can be tedious if you've never done it before and don't know about toggling back and forth with your email to verify changes before moving forward.
#4 Downloading Flash Player - Many of those updates that are necessary for seamless use of technology in the classroom can't be updated by anyone but school technology contacts.
I'll be continuing BYOL sessions Tuesday mornings every week as long as I feel they are needed. Hopefully answering the questions in between the learning will help move the learning forward in our building.