08 April 2011

The First Step

This week's #edchat discussion was focused on bringing in more educators into the world of social media, twitter and instructional technology.  Many teachers feel that their colleagues may not try something new in their classroom because of the work that must be done to find these new ideas and adapting their methods to include them.  So many teachers talk on Twitter about how they don't understand why more of their colleagues are taking the steps necessary to improve their instructional practice.  During the #edchat discussion a lot of teachers offered strategies they have tried to share the tools and ideas with their peers.  One that caught my attention was Toilet Tech Talk by @eolsonteacher.  I am sure you are thinking the same thing I was.  The name alone is awesome.

Toilet Tech Talk is simple:  a Web 2.0 tool is posted in the bathroom to inspire discussion.  This got me thinking about my own school and whether something like this would work.  Problem that I have is we have way too many bathrooms and many are not near faculty rooms, a place that is primed for discussion.  But, the photocopiers are like the office watercooler.  I know I need something to do while waiting for my copies to pop out of the machine and there is almost always someone else waiting so maybe this is the perfect combination.

This past Wednesday I took the first step.  On a board near each photocopier I posted the first Teacher Tech Tip.  The rhyming felt natural, but Tuesday Teacher Tech Tip was just a little too much alliteration.  The first tip was Wordle.  Using the Web 2.0 Tools page on www.cybraryman.com, I found a link to Starter Sheets.  A starter sheet is a 2 page document that uses pictures and text to give a brief explanation of a Web 2.0 tool that teachers can immediately incorporate into their classroom.  As much as I wanted to create them myself, I figured trust the experts.  Unfortunately we are now off on Spring Break, but I am hoping it inspired a few to test out Wordle over the break and will try it out starting in a few weeks.

Here is a screenshot of the Wordle Starter Sheet: