Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can Learning Cancel Out Distractions?

Imagine yourself in an elementary classroom surrounded by about 40 other adults trying to work on projects on laptops. Since there are not enough tables/desks/chairs, people are sitting on the floor and every available surface. Most of the laptops being used don't hold a charge for very long and need to stay close to an outlet .... there are not many electrical outlets in the room ... but there are a few surge protectors stretched every-which-way. It is in July, so the air at the elementary school is not really working that well ... but it is trying.

Would you want to stay in this room?

If someone offered to let you go into the room down the hall where there were not as many people, would you go?

A couple of weeks ago, we held a Promethean training for teachers in our school system called CampInspire. On Day 1, teachers had choices for different sessions to attend based on their interests and needs. On Day 2, we gave the teacher time to share some of the things they had learned and then a chance to play (or work) using the things they had learned about.

On Day 2 of CampInspire, I was in a room very much like the one described at the beginning of this blog post. There was space in the room down the hall, but no one wanted to leave ... these teachers were learning from each other and discovering new things together.

I think the learning that was happening far outweighed the inconveniences presented by the setting ...

That should be our goal ... for the LEARNING that is taking place to cancel out all the distractions.

Too many times, teachers don't get the chance to play and use the new things they learn about in staff development.

Teachers at CampInspire had that opportunity ... and they had support if there were questions. I know that I am much more likely to try out something I have just learned about if I know there is someone I can contact if I need help.

As an Instructional Technology Department, we are here to help and support teachers. On the About Me tab at the top of this blog, you can find Glogster Creations that provide our names and contact information. There are many ways to contact any of us ... email, twitter, skype, leave a comment/question here on the blog, phone call, etc ...

If you are not sure who to contact, then contact me and I will gladly help or direct you to someone who can help!

~Melissa Edwards
twitter: @mwedwards

1 comment:

Marlo Gaddis said...

Melissa- Great post! I am still amazed when I look back at Camp Inspire and think about the positive, professional, and collaborative results. It is my goal for us to have more and more of this type of PD!