Well, I just read and watched the posts about Voice Thread. I have to say that I am impressed! This is a great tool, I believe, for I can think of many applications for this in my classroom. I am really lovin' this class...still. It is a bit overwhelming, but yet I am being exposed to so many great ideas. I am implementing some into my classroom already, for if I don't use it, I lose it.
So, this brings me to a thought about bringing technology and other new approaches to teaching. How does a district present it to its teachers and not overwhelm them? In the video we watched, it discussed the need to creative a narrative...a dialogue where teachers are communicating. That is a grand thought, but teachers need more direction than a discussion. It has been my experience that teachers are exposed to a quick lesson on a new tool then are released into their rooms and never exposed to it again. The lesson died there, because it is up to the individual instructor to glean what of this tool can be useful to them, develop it, and integrate it. I don't believe this is an effective way to help teachers. Conversation and exposure are not enough.
I believe we need "experts" to bring a plan (not just tools) to a district. This consultant would teach a new tool, help EACH instructor create a task for their classroom, and require them to develop and integrate it (in the form of a district requirement). However, we must provide constant professional support in aiding them to develop it. That is my career goal. I really wish to give professional educators a clear direction and then support. And if this is given, I think we will see less complaining about the "old teachers", for they have great talent, but they need guidance and support, more than what a conversation or idea exchange provides.
I believe I am somewhat of an innovator in my classroom, but that's my "thing." I spend lots of extra hours with my curriculum and integrating new ways of teaching it. Others I work with, however, usually spend their extra hours coaching a sport or speech/drama or music programs. Extra curriculars drive high school. That's what our community sees: basketball games and drama performances. We have to acknowledge this reality, also.
Yet, we march on...