Ok, so my professional development group now has a name: Shop Talk! (as well as a fun new poster!) I am in the process of finding its place here on the blog. I am trying to carve out Shop Talk’s very own section, which I have mediocrely attempted to do, and in doing so I realize I have opened up an entirely new can of worms. Can I even post on these extra pages? I haven’t figured it out yet, so… I guess I’ve started with what’s not working! Alas, it is in progress, and hopefully by next weekend will be accomplished. By all means if you have the answer please save me the hours it takes to experiment and troubleshoot and either leave me a comment or send me a direct message and let me know :).
The role of technology in this project is three-fold: what it takes to get it off the ground and running, communication that precedes and follows each Shop Talk, and of course the technology that leads our lessons and helps to guide and direct our learning/teaching.
Getting Things Started:
My plan is to continue the use of Impossible 61 as a blog format to hold my thinking, while also communicating my vision with the public. If all goes well with my aforementioned task Shop Talk will have its very own page on the blog, dedicated to the communication with others about our progress (and possibly making outside connections), as well as the communication between members.
I recently came across a tool that has forever changed my life, well blogging life to say the least. It’s called Canva and you can make posters for web or print completely free (there are some in use purchases, but you only have to pay if you use the graphics that are labelled as costing something). Canva is SO simple and easy to use but makes really polished and professional posters for a wide variety of uses. I highly recommend using this site. You may have noticed I recently changed my blog header, I created the new header on Canva, and the Shop Talk poster above, as well as all of the graphics in this post are posters I created using Canva!
I see communication as having a fairly significant role in Shop Talk; the more we communicate and showcase what Shop Talk is doing the greater a presence it has in the identity of our school, and the greater its perceived value. I plan on utilizing iMovie, and as previously mentioned this site to keep other teachers, admin, parents and students in the loop with what we are doing. Keeping track of what we are doing online as opposed to just offline will allow us to network beyond the four walls of our building and connect with other educators, and schools globally.
I plan on using an iPad to document teacher learning and to create mini information videos showcasing each pro-d. I will utilize iMovie, an app produced by apple that is compatible with iPads. The iPad and iMovie aspects are so user-friendly and intuitive to use that I am not overly concerned with the manufacturing or creating of the movies, however where I do anticipate a bit of a struggle is that our school uses PCs so sharing over the morning announcements, or trying to do any uploading could provide to be challenging as the mac/windows compatibility, while possible, is I’m sure meant to provide some frustrations and challenges (both devices screaming, “PICK ONE!”).
As mentioned, I plan on keeping impossible 61 alive and well, despite some of the issues I have encountered with WordPress. Through the process of blogging for 477b I have discovered WordPress’ annoying inability to embed certain videos, posters etc. into the free site. Through my exploration and completing posts in this course I have found ways around some of those troubled areas (screen shots, and recoding through other websites). One area I am already anticipating being an issue is embedding an iMovie clip into my post, but alas if all else fails I can upload to YouTube and link from there. While more time-consuming and albeit annoying, it can be done!
Fortunately, at this point in the project while I have encountered some issues (mentioned previously), I have managed to overcome them. Where I anticipate to find the biggest roadblocks are:
1. Staff buy-in, both initially and throughout the year
2.)Establishing new topics each meeting that are generated from more than the typical 2-3 people
3.) Keeping productivity, involvement and interest in times that people typically cop out (i.e. Pro-d days that come right before report cards or holidays).
In order to overcome these issues I have a very simple technique, and that is to approach and connect with key members of staff individually. On any staff there are always those few who can shift a group’s perception, and encourage others to get on board with things (even if it is purely by not wanting to be the one left out). I know it seems like a simple plan, but you have to trust me in my abilities to persuade people! ( I worked various sales gigs while in school) People like to feel special, so personally inviting individuals as well as giving them a bit of background on the project 1:1 gives me a chance to share my passion and excitement, and from my experience, when you share your passion and excitement for a project with educators they want to get on board! I believe in Shop Talk so much that I know once people have given it a chance it will speak for itself, and hopefully that excitement transcends through the staff and hallways of our school.
If I do not get the involvement I am hoping for from our staff I will tap into our family of schools and offer an invitation to them as well. It may be a bit more difficult creating connections and asking people to share when they aren’t in our building, but as the slogan goes, nothing is impossible…