Friday, February 2, 2018

Ideas that spread

The next time you hear somebody say, "This is the best thing since sliced bread," there is something missing from their understanding on the true story of sliced bread. 

According to Godin, sliced bread was an invention that struggled to spread. In his Ted Talk on ideas that spread (video snippet below, but full video here), he notes that it took marketing from somebody else to make the idea the success it is today.

Last week we participated in The One Conference, a day of sharing the best ideas we have had so far on using technology to support teaching and learning. Some of the ideas shared were new, some we have heard before but are worth repeating, and some of the ideas are an upgraded twist, tweak, or innovation. Some, the ideas that have spread, will be carried forward into practice, and some will not.

Contagious Tech Integration Practices: Ideas That Are Spreading

This week I have had many connections from people who are taking an idea and putting it into action. Let's look at what some of the "catchiest" ideas are to date.
  •  Use of Apple Classroom seems to be spreading like wildfire. Teachers across the district are identifying this as a tool that will empower them to confidently conduct class while students use iPads. While some students are not necessarily thrilled that teachers are able to peak in and see what they are doing on the device (screenshots of each students screen are available in Apple Classroom), teachers are loving that they have a digital assistant for sharing files, opening (and locking) apps, and observing use of the digital tools. If you want to know more about using Apple Classroom in Waukesha, check out our Help Site. If you want to read about one of our teachers using Apple Classroom and showing nothing but love for it, check out our Journeys to Modification blog post on Apple Classroom.
  • Digital conferring forms with Google Forms is catchy and many people are asking how to make one. This is a movement that started with three teachers from different schools exploring the topic, and then making their own version of a digital conferring form better. And now... well, I don't go a week without a new teacher asking me about how to make a digital conferring form, or asking how to make it better. If you are interested in learning more about digital conferring notes, you can check out our blog post on digital conferring notes.  Additionally, you can hear the experience of one of our Model Tech Classroom teachers who has developed a digital conferring form with students on her blog post available here.

The arrival of iPads did not mark the beginning in a change of how we do business in our district. It made that change possible, but it did not magically shift our professional practice.

The change in our practice will come from the spread of ideas. Those spread when we share the practice, the tips, and the tools that make it a worthwhile change for others to embrace. As educators, our system is more broadly embracing that shift, opening doors, and helping to spread the very best ideas.  Keep the momentum going; share your best ideas with others for the benefit of students.