Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Everyone has heard the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink". This is true, but the there are many other factors involved in this decision- one being how thirsty the horse is. Last night HCS technology department scheduled a session of #HCSLRN- a Tweetchat for the teachers and staff members in our district. Attendance had been low at the last session, so I decided to offer an iTune card to our teachers at HHS if they tweeted during the chat with the hash tag #HCSLRN. Turns out, our teachers respond well to extrinsic rewards and love iTunes cards :)

The tweet chat started at 9:00 (although Keith Fulmer tried to cheat and get some tweets in early). The discussion started with everyone tweeting about the presidential debate (on TV) and successes that they had experienced in the past week or two with technology. We had several teachers tweet in that this was their first tweet and many had not participated in a Tweet Chat before. Once everyone got accustomed to the format, the tweeting picked up.

Many topics were discussed in the hour and many instructional ideas and apps were shared. It was fun to sit back and just watch the wheels start turning and the collaboration was awesome. Questions were posed, ideas were shared, peer-to-peer PD was offered, it was a SUCCESS! As I watched our teachers interact, you could almost feel their excitement. At times, you could also feel some stress and feelings of being somewhat overwhelmed and reserved about personal abilities, but that is to be expected. There was a high level of trust and respect displayed for all levels of learners and that is the ultimate goal.


We even had students from both high schools tweet in and give their opinions of the Engaged Learning Initiative. Jordan Laporta from HHS and Houston Pearce from SPHS shared with the group.

We cannot force our teachers into the technology world and we would never want to. We will lead, really we will walk beside them, as they explore all the possibilities out there. We cannot make them "drink" but they seem pretty "thirsty", so I think if we point them in the direction of the water, they will make thier own path and find it themselves with guidance and support.

Thanks #HCSLRN! 

1 comment:

  1. Communicating via Twitter can be intimidating for people who are not as comfortable with this form of communication. It's one thing to communicate causally with your friends, but it's different in a professional setting. Reading through the comments and tweets, I realize I would not be alone in that thinking. I also saw that others are interested in finding out more about some of the APPs that are available and how to implement them.