Today's post is part of the Leadership Day 2010 campaign, a day when bloggers post ideas about how school leaders can advance technology and 21st Century Skills for students and teachers. A How-To Guide To Exploiting Your Teacher's Tech Passions
I believe that one of the most effective ways to get your teachers to embed technology and 21st Century Skills into their lessons and the culture of a school is to find and exploit their technological passions.
Let me explain...
Imagine with me a beginning of the year meeting between a teacher and a principal (minus the chit-chat for brevity):
Principal: Thank you so much for meeting with me. Today I would like to talk about ideas for bringing more tech projects into our school.
Teacher: Okay, great, how can I help?
Principal: Is there anything about technology and teaching that you would like to see in our school?
Teacher: I don't understand?
Principal: Well, is there anything that you like to do with technology, or that you have heard about other schools doing that you would like to try here at our school.
Teacher: I don't know if this is what you are thinking... When I was in college I minored in acting and filmmaking, something I have not thought about for years, but a few months ago when I was watching a few YouTube videos I got a few ideas?
Teacher: Well, my first idea was about how bad most of the videos were -- from a production and acting point of view. I thought that if only these kids had a few tips about filmmaking and acting, they could do so much better. Tricks that I learned while I was in college. Then I started to think about how my students would love to make videos and put them online, especially for units like the one I teach on the California Gold Rush.
Principal: A video about the California Gold Rush?
Teacher: I imagined that the students could do the research, write a script, and them make a short movie acting out a few scenes from the unit. I think they would have a lot more fun and learn a lot more that filling out the current worksheet.
Principal: What would you need to be able to do this?
Teacher: I think just a cheap Flip video camera and some video editing software.
Principal: Let's give it a try, I think the students will love it. We still need to work out some details like parent permission forms and let's make sure to cover all the 21st Century Skills in the project so we can make it a model projects for other teachers to follow next year. I can use $200 of our tech budget to buy the things that you need and you can take it from there.
Teacher: Wow! That would be great, I'll get started on the lesson plan and rubric right away.
Voila! Happy teacher = happy principal = happy students.
This teacher will now spread his passion for this project to the other teachers in the school, within a few years there could be many great videos being made in this school.
Passion is contagious -- use it.