Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hidden Treasures

treasureIn Virtual Landfill from Tech Thoughts By Jen, Jennifer

“We, acting much like the “FULLER BRUSH MEN”  of the past, trying to sell educators on the newest, brightest, gotta have new option that they just HAVE to buy into and then a few weeks later….they realize that they never really needed that option in the first place.”

This statement reminded me of all the things that are done school wide that falls by the wayside. I can’t tell you the number of times we met as a faculty to try a writing program, character ed program, professional development program etc. that lasted a year and then nothing. It fizzled out.

Yes, I wonder how much money was spent buying the license for some of these programs and the time and energy wasted trying to implement them. How many times our faculty has groaned and complained throughout the school year. By the next year, the old one is tossed and a new one is introduced.

Part of the reason that many programs don’t last is that it is hard to get everyone on board with this program. If people aren’t willing to give it a try for a year, their negativity is infectious. I actually think some of the things were worthwhile but everyone wouldn’t buy into the program. Many people had different needs and different time restraints so they couldn’t put forth the effort needed to follow the program as it should be done. I feel that when schools introduce new programs they need to make sure that the participants are given the needed time to use it. I remember the school introducing a writing program where we were required to use it in addition to the things we already were required to do. I was able to incorporate it in my lessons as I think it was meant to be but not everyone saw this in the same way. So, they pushed it aside and refused to add it to their lessons or used it sporadically so that it wasn’t successful. The administration sees it isn’t working so they begin hunting for something new and the cycle continues.

Then she requests,

“I would appreciate your comments on WHY you are using the Web presence that you are……why it works for you.
And also thoughts on what we can do to encourage teachers not to abandon their websites, wikis, twitter accounts…..as quickly as many seem to do.”

I continue to blog because it helps me formulate my thoughts and shares my ideas with others. Based upon the comments and emails that I receive, some people find them helpful and encourage me to continue. After 30 years of experience in teaching, I feel it is a way for me to share my failures and successes with new or struggling teachers so that they won’t have to make the same mistakes as I have.

I continue to use Twitter and Plurk and Facebook because it helps me connect with so many others who have the same interests as I do. I am able to learn new things, bounce ideas off of others, or sometimes just vent my frustrations. It is so wonderful to know that there are others out there who understand me. I also love that I have immediate tech support when needed and this has helped me a few times when I have been in a bind.

I think the problem that many people have with abandoning tools is that they find they don’t need them like they thought they would. But sometimes it takes time to really find out if you do or not. That is why I like free trials of software. It gives me time to decide if I want to invest the money into buying the program. Many times I find out that I don’t use it or need it so my money isn’t wasted. Sometimes I find out that the program is the answer to a need I had.

I won’t give up looking and trying things to make my life and my students’ lives better. There are things out there that will help my students be more successful in the classroom and in life. Sometimes I’m adding to the virtual landfill and sometimes I find a hidden treasure.

Do you have a virtual landfill or a collection of hidden treasures? Please share!

Image: 'A Pirate's Life'

No comments: