The eve of another school year is an exciting time. As a classroom teacher, and edtech enthusiast, I always have big plans and new ideas for how I am going to develop my teaching strategies and classroom practices. This year is a bit strange for me because it is the first time in 8 years that I am not returning to the classroom in September. Instead, I will be starting in my new role as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, and will likely spend my first week in meetings and professional development. Although different school boards use various terms for this type of position, the mandate of the job is simply to work with classroom teachers (and schools in general) to build the capacity of teachers with the use of instructional technology. In practice, this could mean anything from helping a teacher get acquainted with a particular tool (such as a Smart Board, document camera, etc.) through to helping teachers redevelop their assessments to engage and empower 21st century students.
If you have read my blog before you will likely know that the ITRT position is very well suited to my interests in education, technology, and leadership. But, what makes this job so exciting for me is that I feel lucky to be transitioning into this leadership role at an amazing time. There is an enthusiasm building in my school board, and teachers are embracing the concepts of 21st century classrooms now more than ever before.
Last week, I was a conference put on by the Peel Board called Teaching and Learning in a Digital World (#TLDWpeel). The amazing thing was that the organizers were planning for 350 attendees, and over 600 teachers came! I have been to many edtech-y conferences over the years, but this one had a different energy in the air, and there was an enthusiasm that many people commented on. I believe that energy came from the fact that the attendees were not “edtech enthusiasts”, but were teachers who have slowly been recognizing that an evolution is taking place, and they want to be a part of that change.
The conference reminded me of the Technology Adoption Cycle shown here from Wikipedia:
While it may still be too early to tell, I believe we are at the beginning to see the wave of the “early majority” rising up. And for me, in my new role, that is very exciting!
Thinking about this blog post, I went online to watch this fun video from a few years back:
Watching the video I was reminded about the risk-taking involved in being an innovator/leader, and the important role of the early adopters who give credibility to the leader’s vision. But, what really stuck out to me this time was seeing the enthusiasm of the early majority as they run into the scene to be part of the action.
Now, if we can only get a room full of teachers to dance around like this … that would be something!
Image credit Jim Renaud