"Why can we not get teachers just to see education differently?" It's the question that drives my Google innovator project (with my partner Savannah Denning), and this blog serves as sort of a soft launch for it to my PLN and my community.
I have walked through many schools in the past three years, and everywhere I look the traditional is still king. By traditional, I mean that sit and get culture that gives students no opportunity to create, to make, to think critically, and most of all to just be engaged. This culture even exists in districts that have access to devices and have opportunities to do things differently. So, why is that the thought process? What are the pain points that keep teachers in the way of doing things that have been proven ineffective? That's the question we are attempting to answer with seeedudifferently.com
See Edu Differently is a crowd sourced blog that asks teachers to post about what they are doing that is not traditional. We want to hear from the creatives. We want to hear from teachers who think differently, and it's easy to get involved.
All you have to do to be part of the site is fill out the Google Form on the site. We will review your submission, and if it's the awesomeness we expect you will then have the opportunity to post!
Now, what about those pain points or reasons for the traditional....
1) I can't be creative because they don't do that at the next level.
I call this the UGA argument. Talking with high school teachers in Georgia inevitably leads to the conversation that they have to lecture to prepare students to sit in the 600 seat psychology class at UGA. Frankly, that argument is BS, and what's interesting is that primary school change agents have the same reasons for doing sit and get in elementary school.
We should not be preparing students for the next level in school. We should be preparing them for life, and frankly many times those preconceived notions of what the next level looks like are just plain wrong. Changing those notions is one of the major goals of our blog. If we can have a blog where teachers are posting their innovation at the primary, secondary, and university level, then those doubters can see that there is innovation at the next level. Call it proof that those notions are just plain wrong.
2) My standards are just too much
This is another BS argument. The beauty of technology is that you can use to increase productivity and create time within your class. For some teachers, though you can tell them this a hundred times, they need to see it. That's where our site comes in.
Our hope is that the site will give teachers who are stopped by the standards argument a place to see teachers in their same category who are not stopped by it. Again, it's all about that proof.
3) I just won't get enough support
I think there are two aspects to the not getting enough support argument. The first is that your own school won't support you in doing things differently. I think teachers can come to a school with great ideas, but they can succumb to the peer pressure of doing instruction like everyone else Hopefully, this site can change that conversation to giving folks ideas they can take two others with real results.
The other side of the no support argument is not having people in your building who can help get you better. One of the best ways to improve practice is to see others innovative practices and have them help you improve yours. That is so hard most of the time though because that innovative teacher maybe only one of a few, or they could even be just the one. Hopefully, this site can serve as a connection point for others!
Please Consider Being Part!