In the south, we are all familiar with the college rivalries that dictate our moods and social agendas. Alabama’s Crimson Tide compared to rivals Ga Tech and or UGA. Who is the best? Naturally this kind of competition runs deep and seeps down into the elementary school levels as well. It’s not all about football; who has the best teachers, Alabama or Georgia?
It just so happens that Alabama may have the advantage when it comes to teacher collaboration. They have been actively involved in promoting teacher conferencing using Elluminate services. They started small and then the network of teachers involved in on-line conferencing expanded exponentially. Even teachers who never envisioned themselves wearing headphones and using a mic are finding this form of collaboration an exhilarating natural fit. In fact the this project is so substantial that it has become an ongoing part of the teacher-professional development program. Teachers participate and earn SDU’s for time well spent.
Their results have been notable. Explore the best practice center and you will only begin to scratch the surface of their achievements. This is a good example of social networking on the professional level. It works, and it works well.
Do you think something like this might work in GA? For four consecutive months on the third Wednesday of the month in February from 3-4 PM, Heidi Holcomb, 21st C. Project Manager and Kathy Shields, Kindergarten 21st C. Classroom Teacher will host an experimental teacher-focus group consisting of 3-5 teachers from several schools. We have 50 seats available. The teachers will be asked to make a commitment to the four meetings and in exchange they will be able to borrow headsets/mics and their computers will be all set up and ready to go so they can take part in the on-line conference with minimal effort. What else do they get? It’s a unique opportunity to learn a new cutting edge skill and to be part of a pioneering group sharing best and worst practices in the ed-tech forum as well as helping to develop a viable 21st C. teaching model that can be replicated successfully in schools. Many people can point to tech gurus and superstars but have you ever seen a teacher whose best practices in ed-tech make sense for the majority?
If you are a teacher or Tech Specialist and you would like to join this experimental group please contact Kathy Shields, email@example.com. Tech Specialists/Coordinators may want to set up several teachers in their own schools. If Alabama can do it… Teachers from Alabama or elsewhere are welcome to join the conversation and let us know what you’ve been learning in this process. Just contact Kathy and you will receive the link and instructions you’ll need to get into the conference.