From whom do you mostly seek primary guidance, information, inspiration, and/or direction relating to your use of digital resources in the classroom? Does your primary input come from a popular website such as The Teaching Channel or YouTube, a special mentor on your campus, or perhaps from an annual conference that you last attended? Pinpointing the source of inspiration for the ways that we organize, implement, and evaluate our instructional curriculum including how we use digital assets in the classroom can help stakeholders shape their PD offerings.
Personally, my primary inspiration came from regular life experiences. I remember owning several VW Bugs and unfortunately having to sit in repair shops as one of my trusted German-made cars was getting an oil change, tune-up, or tires rotated. Later, this quarterly ritual (remember- change the oil every 3,000 miles) lead to the design of a literacy station for one of my special needs high students who, by the way, was a master mechanic as a 14 year old.
Getting better acquainted with the driving force behind teacher innovation in the classroom and effective technology use is one of the goals of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the LoTi Digital Age Survey. What if a significant portion of teachers actually looked to their students or business/community members for guidance in terms of the best ways of using technology in the classroom? How might this alter conventional staff development planning? In a global community, seeking helpful advice does not stop at the school entrance, but includes a broad range of unconventional mentors whom we may encounter in the classroom, faculty room, waiting room, or boardroom.
This blog post is the fourth in a series of fourteen online entries highlighting factors that impact the effective use of technology in today's classrooms. This series focuses on each of the research variables used to conduct comparative analyses as part of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the LoTi Digital Age Survey.