At present I am building a report card system for the secondary school for which I work, and not yet having committed to a particular SIS to run the whole thing, and without a server, and without any database software I am having to reinvent the wheel, the axle, the transmission, etc, etc, etc. My colleague at the desk beside me has been building the elementary reports in similar fashion. Together we have been making a lot of noise.

So there has been a lot of learning going on this week (and I predict into this weekend as well!) and I am able to describe, amongst other things, what that has been SOUNDING like!

With both of us toiling away with Excel spreadsheets, mail merges and Word templates there has been a lot of:
• talking, agreeing, disagreeing, questioning, proposing, groaning, swearing, laughing
• Mmmm-ing as the lets-try-this becomes we’ll-have-to-try-something-else
• “Boom”-ing as the maybe-this-will-work actually works
• “You won’t believe it”-ing as the latest phonecall adds yet another consideration that must be accommodated within the spreadsheet
• Singing along to whatever is playing on iTunes
• One asking the other, “Do you remember how to do X?”
• One asking the other, “Can you come and look at this and tell me what you think.”
• Silence, interrupted only by the clatter and clicking of keys and mice
• Vows to never, ever do this again.

So what have I learned today?

Two heads are better than one. If you are not talking you are missing great learning opportunities. Just because you don’t know what to do or how to do it is no reason not to begin. When you trust your ability to learn you can accomplish great things.

I wonder what I will learn tomorrow?



That boat has sailed!

As I finished a phone call with one of the teachers I support in my role as a technology integration specialist, I became despondent.

I had received an email from this teacher asking for help in changing a single setting in an application they were using in their classroom. Not knowing the answer myself, I copied the question (verbatim) from their email, pasted it into the Google search bar and pressed enter. The first result returned by the search linked directly to a downloadable .PDF file that gave explicit step-by-step instructions on how to change the setting. I copied the link to the .PDF file into the return email and pressed send. Two more emails and a phone call later the teacher had finally managed to change the setting and I was beginning to wonder.

In this day and age, in this profession, this sort of support should not be needed for a teacher. In this day and age teachers should be able to do this sort of learning themselves! This is the sort of learning teachers should be modeling to their students, expecting of their students and commending their students for being successful at.

The days of saying, “I’m no good with technology” are gone. That boat has sailed.

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