The end of the school year always brings time for reflecting. Trying to recognize all the things we’ve achieved. Good and bad, hard and easy, People and tasks, sad and joyous, highs and lows…..
This year has been another of change for me. I’ve worked in two places for the best part of it.
I’m regularly asked what that’s like.
I often wonder what people will want my reaction to be. In both places I’m overwhelmed by the same thing. Dedicated teachers and staff working tirelessly to bring a positive learning experience to those in their charge.
During this year I’ve started to reflect on some tremendous highlights. There’s been a strong tech focus (of course!)
I’m a tech advocate but I lean heavily towards experiences over things and one of those key threads stands out.
Tech brings people together.
Let me say that again. Tech brings people together. So often maligned for the fake lifestyles of social media while people phone obsess instead of conversing. Where people text instead of looking at each other. Where people selfie instead of seeing the view.
This year I’ve seen high school colleagues share their experiences with learners. I’ve taken their wisdom and shared it myself. Then I’ve seen others take it from me and give it a go.
You know they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, well I can safely say that seeing someone try a technique or a tool in their teaching is an empowering thing.
Two hundred year six students collaborating and learning about peer marking simultaneously in three buildings while consulting another cohort to answer a quiz was probably the biggest risk we took.
It wasn’t a tech risk it was a human one but people believed in the event. Hearing Eurovision style, cross campus cheering as the results of the event came through was big and memorable. Being told by a student that ‘Canvas day was great’ at the airport that evening really brought home to me what tech can do.
The whole thing is about people and learning opportunities and tech tools playing a subtle part.
Parent visitors touring our building were amazed to see a 3D printer purring away in our teaching room. But more impressive were the nine year olds who explained clearly that they’d created a city and considered the importance of transport and access to the buildings in zone 1.
I’m definately doing computing in Senior School!
The micro blogging platform has had a mixed press but it’s been the best tool for keeping track of all our experiences. No where is it clearer that we’ve pa led a tremendous amount in than here. Many times I’ve lost track but twitter brings it all flooding back.
It’s often the case that tech stays in side and that is wise on many occasions. But when a student takes their iPad on an activity they get a different experience. The opportunity to capture ideas and voice and motion changes the output dramatically.
The list is long. Stop motion animation, illustrated games, art vocabulary, all of these have been interesting outside.
People came together. They brought the tech and there were transformational experiences that were truly memorable.
Roll on next year then.
What tech experiences have brought people together for you this year?
What are you looking forward to trying next year?