Yesterday at our faculty meeting we took some time for feedback and reflection on how we as a lower school are doing since we transitioned from PC to Macs and added 6 laptop carts for the students’ use. Since I go in and out of most of the classrooms, I had a pretty good idea of how I thought we were doing, but this isn’t about me, it is about how the teachers feel they are doing. We asked this question, “How has having access to the technology impacted your teaching and the student’s learning?” At first there was silence so we rephrased the question to, “what kinds of things are you doing differently with your students, what are your students doing that they may not have been doing in your class last year?” Finally some hands started to go up (thank G-d, because my director and I were really banking on some sort of meaty discussion) and we heard from our colleagues that they were trying new things like Glogster with first graders and blogging with fourth graders. One teacher said flat out that she is not the expert on any of this and is that ok. Another teacher mentioned that she is beginning to rethink her lessons that include technology with regard to what skills the students will need to have in order to be able to do what she wants them to do. We heard that in fourth grade they could be using the laptops all day and were upset when there was a rumor that one of the carts might have to go to our middle school.
We have come a long way since the teachers first got their hands on the Macs last April. Since September they have been inviting me in to their classrooms to work with them and their students. For many, using the technology as part of their teaching, thinking about using the technology while they are planning, having the students on the Macs while they are learning, reaching out and sharing globally is a whole new ball game. They were used to having technology as a “special” subject that they didn’t have to deal with but that they knew their children were getting once a week. For others, thinking about, planning, collaborating and using the technology was already in their teaching DNA so this was a welcome change that couldn’t have come soon enough.
We knew going into this that the transition would be slow, that it would take time for everyone to get on board and begin to feel comfortable with the technology. I am so pleased with the direction we are heading and everything that I am seeing, that I can only imagine that year two will be even better.!