mccoyderek

Edmodo for our Faculty Meeting

20121025-003051.jpg

This week a last minute inspiration led to a unique learning and sharing opportunity.

One of the topics I was finalizing for our Tuesday meeting was our discussion on Edmodo. Our district is an Edmodo district, we utilize it completely, from teacher-student instructional purposes, to communication efforts to curriculum planning and development.  My plan was to go over a couple of points:

  • making sure we are connected to Edmodo;
  • utilizing digital instrucitonal and curriculum benefits;
  • and connecting to our district and school curriculum departments efforts.

While planning this, I made had an inspiration/realization, ‘Why don’t I conduct the faculty meeting on Edmodo?’ What better way to let our teachers have digital learning experience and utilize the tool we need to get better at using.

I have only been using Edmodo for 3 months mainly to join groups and communities and post articles. In order to lead a discussion, I would have to utilize a lot features. My Math Coach gave me a crash course in some features. In a more perfect world, I would have thought of this and planned it out earlier. But given everything, I think we had a rich, innovative experience. For interactivity, I asked teachers to respond to posts and created pop quizzes and polls. At the end, I thanked my teachers for their participation and their understanding and patience with my experiment. They are a great group – with their participation I think we had a good learning experience.

 I didn’t realize how much fun this was going to be. I definitely plan on hosting another faculty meeting on Edmodo. Taking time to plan out the agenda for an online forum, tailored to Edmodo’s features is a learning experience everyone benefits from. This has also given me some urgency to follow through with utilizing a couple of other platforms, including flipping a meeting or two. This is a great way to break the monotony of the face-to-face and let teachers experience firsthand the importance of digitizing our efforts in reaching this digital generation.

The Enormity of It

   I had a conversation with my Director of School Support, Doris Williams, earlier this week. Doris is a educator/administrator with some great experience and insight to share from her career. She is one of four individuals who has really helped my transition to Cumberland County Schools. We have regular talks about process and plans for my school, staff, students and community. Among the many topics we talked about this week, Doris gave me a great piece to reflect on. It has stuck with me for several days, giving me need to work it out of my system through my blog.

  Doris shared a conversation she had with a past supervisor of hers. To help her really grasp the responsibility and scope of the job of the principal, he instructed her to walk through her school building either before school or after school while it was empty. His goal was to get her to see and feel the building, the grounds, the resources – everything in the building that helped support the school. Its part of our process to make the lives in our school part of our lives. Getting to know, care for, understand and help the people is what we are all about in education. This exercise is to create a different experience. As school leaders, we should know what we are responsible for – from document cameras in the classroom to the slightly bent lockers to the maintenance of the sports fields.

   When I did this, I walked away with a couple of ‘enormity realizations’:

  • Student and teacher growth depends on my know and utilizing every resource, room and inch of my building to the fullest
  • My community members who have attended my school invest pride in a different way now

   Walking the building with this in mind, won’t change your perspective 180 degrees but it will definitely give you a new appreciation or help with a realization you haven’t had before.

   I‘d encourage every school leader to do this and share your experience and realization below. Or if you have had a different event that’s inspired your own enormity realization, please share it below.