Sunday, April 5, 2009

SpeedGeeking and Mouse Wrangling

A number of IT teacher specialist's blog posts and tweets lately have expressed the frustration that comes from trying to pass on all the wonderful technology ideas we come across on a daily basis. We've all had that 'bursting brain' feeling and the consequent let down that comes when those we share with don't drop everything and immediately take on what ever it is we've been hooting about.

But, I believe in serendipity and on Friday a friend sent me this: Are you going to finish strong? It made me stop feeling sorry for myself and want to dive back in.

Then Kim Cofino blogged about Speed Geeking. This was the second catalyst I needed to get myself going.

Here, in my school district, I have been working with a group of inspired and inspiring educators to host Learning at Night gatherings for a thousand or so teachers. Now before you get too excited, while we invite everyone, our attendance at the 4 sessions we've hosted so far has ranged from 40 to 80 people. We've shown them presentations from the k12 online conference, skyped in the presenters and had great discussions. While this has been fantastic Pro D. for our teachers we have all been wondering if there has been any real effect on their classroom teaching methods.

This is where Kim's post about a great idea comes into play. I won't try to encapsulate it here as her post says it all. It got me thinking. These are a few ideas I'll bring to the team to mull over for future LAN gatherings.

* Try our own version of SpeedGeeking.
* Try out an idea we saw at Northern Voice called Moose Wrangling. We may call ours Mouse Wrangling. We know that some teachers have tried out Animoto, Edmodo, blogging etc. Maybe we can convince them to give a 30 second pitch to the group and then move to a separate corner to have a discussion with those teachers who want to hear more.
* Send all May LAN participants away with an RSS feed and the names of a few good blog/nings/feeds to follow over the summer. I've started a list here. If you can suggest any others please add them as comments.

How do you inspire teachers to try new things? Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

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