Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Staff Development???

Today during the two 30-minute lunch periods at Arapahoe something new happened. It is not really new...The Karl Fisch has been doing this for some time now.

There was a short staff development at lunch! The item of discussion was Moodle quizzes and how to make one. The topic could take a long time to cover and then throw in the fact that there are questions just about Moodle in general and now, we are really running out of time. Throw in the fact that the person leading the staff development is a long-winded science teacher (read "me") and now we are really, really, really running out of time for the conversation.

We have been using Moodle in the science department at Arapahoe this entire school year. Some of us are using it in place of a class webpage since it is a very secure environment for students. A few of us are using the full features of the site. Others are using it just to give quizzes and some other activies. The remainder of the science department, well...I am not sure that they even know what Moodle is. (But then again, you cannot water rocks...)

Here is the fun part about the lunch meetings:
The first lunch was mostly Math teachers asking about the use of Moodle in the classroom and how it can change what is happening from "bell to bell". The second lunch meeting was myself, Karl, two instructional coaches and an administrator. Who would have thought that not a single teacher who was eating lunch would not be there? I thought for sure someone would want to learn about using Moodle. Don't get me wrong. I think that it is amazing that an administrator and the two people who are responsible for helping teacher were the only ones there. After all, they should know what the possibilities are with this software. I just thought that teachers might want to learn about this but maybe they just have too much going on right now or they do not see the power in the use of this technology. Perhaps, in some ways, teachers do not want to change what they are currently doing in the classroom. I hope that this is true that they value what they are doing so greatly that they do not want to change. My fear is that they are already spread pretty thin and will be asked to do even more in the coming years. With that idea looming in the future, asking them to "learning" something new might not happen.

I do think that there are some great things going on in the classes at schools across the country. Arapahoe is a special environment where we are allowed to try new things if we think it will help the students. Learning 2.0 was a great place to have some conversation about using Moodle in the classroom and I hope that at least one person was challenged today or over the weekend to try it.

By the way, Jesse Craig, Jeff Smith and I started another blog. This blog is for our whole department to share ideas. Currently, we are posting some videos to help other teachers learn how technology can be used in the classroom. We started with setting up a blog. Then we covered how to post a video to the blog. Next, we discussed how to use Feedburner.com to gather information about a podcast and how to get that information into iTunes. Then, we discussed how to use iTunes to gather course content like lectures and conversations. Now, we are posting some help on using Moodle that we thought teachers would like. Check it out and let us know what you think.

So, I guess, that as teachers we are now going to start being teachers of teachers also. But, then again...teaching is why we got into this to begin with.

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