There is the old saying that comes with raising children, and that is; “It takes a Village…”.
Granted, as educators we are not raising children directly such as their parents are, but we educate them for a large portion of the day. I have had the honor of working with 5 secondary schools as an Educational Technology Coach. I have worked with individual teachers, co-teaching teams, and even whole departments and the one thing that keeps popping out to me is that sense of “The Village”.
When we (educators) collaborate and work together to create learning opportunities for our students it seems to catapult the learning experience to the next level. Watching staff members bounce ideas off me and their colleagues as they plan activities is an incredible sight to witness. It is like watching something from nothing explode into existence pulling all involved into an exciting collaborative experience.
When we collaborate and work together…it seems to catapult the learning experience to the next level
For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of this job is to watch a teacher/department start with an idea and unfold it into a rich learning experience. I have seen individual teachers do amazing things using the technology available to them. I have seen projects that include creating Climate Graphs using spreadsheets, creating a digital cookbook using Google Sites, creating video assignments, and many more.
I have also been there to witness the sweeping change that occurs when an entire department works together to provide rich learning experiences for the students. I have witnessed Phys-Ed departments adopt spreadsheets for tracking performance, using websites to collect resources for how to do tasks properly, and even using websites for coaching and permission forms. I have seen Science departments use D2L to organize course web pages, do online quizzes, create and upload assignments, and access ministry resources. I have been witness to Coop staff using D2L and Google Classroom to keep track of Employment Logs, create safety quizzes, and allow for contact with employers.
When a department gets together to move in the same direction all the students that pass through the department become familiar with the “new” expectations of the classroom and the use of the technology. The students use these new skills for cross-curricular projects and you can see the change sweep through the school.
I myself am proud to be apart of our DDSB village. I am happy to offer support, advice, and experience to help in the educating experience of our students. It really is true that it takes a village to “educate” students and I strongly urge you to take advantage of all of the village resources that you have at your fingertips (Your students, Colleagues, Coaches, Facilitators, Media Resources, etc).
(If any of the ideas mentioned above interest you and you would like more information/resources please feel free to email me at Bejay.Prosser@ddsb.ca)