At a collection of school leaders and IT people, one of the participants told the group that his school had bought a number of iPads for teachers and that they had scheduled a chunk of training on how to use them. Unfortunately for him, I had just read an exchange on Twitter where Gary Stager had made the point that I quickly made to the group: “You know, something like 1.3 million people have bought an iPad and I doubt any of them have gotten any “training” on how to use it.” The people in the room half chuckled, but one woman said “Our teachers won’t do anything with technology unless we give them training.”
After reading this my first thought was, hey, we're giving out the same consumer level devices which are sold without training by such high minded institutions as Walmart, yet we've slotted significant chunks of our training time to how you connect the device to the computer and how to download an app. Are they really that hard to use?
It does get a little more complicated when we look at the applications and software. Our plans call for training on Moodle, Google Apps, social media, and screen casting (multi day trainings in and of themselves in a traditional model). But aren't we really just saying make your teaching and learning environment accessible, authentic, interconnected, and multi-sensory.
So I'm throwing out a few smaller brainstrorms in the hopes of pulling in some big guns from the interwebs. *yes, that means you all, in the hope that our little problem will demonstrate a bigger picture solution. Or just tell me that I'm wrong. It's how I learn.
3. As for the applications: "You have several students who are failing your course. They are disengaged during lectures, they consistently misplace their work, they seem more interested in texting notes to their friends than taking notes, and your worst fear is that they are recording your classroom using the camera on their cell phone. What strategies and resources could you integrate into your lessons to engage your learners, make the material multi sensory, personally accessible, authentic and interconnected?"
I hope that at least few folks will take a moment to reply. I and my group thank you in advance.