Thursday, April 2, 2015

There Will Be Hiccups. . . .

Last week's Act-80 Day was an important one. How so? Important in regard to the learning that took place? Absolutely! Elementary school teachers were treated to some fantastic information about the reporting tools available in Successmaker, while secondary teachers received training on Google Sites and Google Classroom. The information was great, but there was an important lesson to be taken away from those training sessions that does not deal directly with the content being presented.

The elementary teachers quickly discovered a few "hiccups" in the format of the Successmaker training. For those that are unaware, this training was conducted via Google Hangouts, a fantastic tool for bringing people together in spite of the distance between us. As with all technology, however, there is a slight learning curve. Teachers learned by the end of this session that whichever microphone is picking up talking is the picture on display for each meeting place. This resulted in rapid flashing of pictures throughout the training session. The tech. department has discussed this and we have ideas for implementing this type of training with future topics. 

The secondary teachers were treated to a mixed bag of results. The ELA session, the first of the morning, got off to a rocky start when the URL that was supposed to be the basis of my entire training session was blocked by our filter. Rest assured, I had tested this in the morning and the tech. department made sure it was working. . . for teacher computers! I believe the issue is that teachers were signed in to student computers, resulting in the blockage. In addition, we experienced hardware problems and account permission problems throughout the day that almost had me ready to throw in the towel, but I adapted and adjusted and I feel had a very successful day of training.

Lesson learned through all of this: don't get discouraged if the technology doesn't work perfectlythe first time out! By demonstrating to our students how we react in the face of adversity, we have the power to teach them a very important life lesson: Don't fear failure, learn from it!