In the UK the daffodils and bluebells are in bloom and the trees are full of blossom. It is spring, a time for clearing out, getting out and about and all things new! I have a long list of new things to do and explore. Technology and apps I have not tried yet, the latest software, books I haven’t read, different places to visit. Spring is a wide open space of possibilities. I love to explore new ideas and technology, but there are so many. Which made me think – what about things that I have already explored and rejected, How many things do I miss the first time round? Learning opportunities that I tried, but failed for me. Am I less willing to reconsider technology and approaches that did not deliver immediately. What about the ideas that didn’t work out early on, that were not a quick hit? Some concepts just don’t seem to work as I expected. So in a busy world, it is tempting to just move on to the next new thing, giving no second chances.
However some things may take time to develop or take other people to see their potential. I remember seeing the first digital news editing system AVID in 1986, I loved it, but many people didn’t. Many of those people now love Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, but hated digital editing back then. They said it would never replace video tape or film. It was up to me and others to persuade them. I didn’t get Twitter when it first appeared, but my friends insisted I gave it another go, now i can’t imagine life without it.
Often it just takes someone else to explain how to use new technology creatively – to open your mind to the possibilities and to not focus on the problems. This happened to me recently with Chromebooks. Previously I had worried so much about their problems (reliance on WIFI), that I missed the possibilities. Fortunately I attended a great workshop by Bruno Reddy of The King Solomon Academy at TLAB14 that showed me I really needed to give them another look.
Bruno Reddy and the teaching staff at King Solomon Academy had seen the opportunities offered by the speed and adaptability of the Chromebook. They leveraged these benefits to create flexible and flipped working environments, where computers are speedily and seamlessly used in the classroom. The classroom teacher retains control and technology does not delay or fragment learning.
So this spring I have resolved to give a few more things a second look – sometimes you get things wrong…
Bruno Reddy Maths Blog for inspiring ideas for teaching maths in an innovative a fun way
TLAB14 website for 2014 Teaching and Learning Assessment Berkhamsted Conference. (If you missed this years conference sign up for TLAB15).