Just this weekend, I worked with a phenomenal group of educators in using technology in the classroom. The session was hosted by A+ Educators, and it was professional development that was continuing from previous work. It was also going to be a continued support and collaboration. I was there to help set up MacBooks, Apple TVs, projectors, and camera equipment, as well as give instructional ideas and answer questions from the teachers perspective. As expected, it was a fun time! The teachers were excited about the materials and the possibilities that were coming with them.
My part in the training was mostly supportive with only a small section officially dedicated to discussing the process of using Apple TV as a conduit for iPads and MacBooks, as well as the very cool ways to explore content with Apple TV. So, I did my section of the training and also worked with the teachers in a rotation fashion. As conversations developed about iPads, Apple TV, and more, I heard myself saying over and over again..."So, this is what it looks like." In describing my students using iPads, or in a lesson utilizing the Apple TV, or even in managing technology in the classroom, I was trying to set the stage for understanding. I was trying to paint a picture of the classroom while stressing three main points- collaboration, content, and creativity.
Not to belabor the point...but, I really believe that a teacher wanting to use technology in the classroom will be most successful when the tone is one of collaboration, and not instructor-driven. I want to collaborate with my students on the technology piece, and not make it a management issue. The content is my specialty, and if I design challenging, engaging lessons that allow students to explore that content, then the technology isn't a management issue. Which leads into the creativity portion...like puzzle pieces, it will fit together. (Not perfectly at times. Just like a real puzzle, you sometimes have a piece with a rough edge.)