Saturday, February 6, 2010

On Being an Educational Bobsledder

The Jamaican Bobsled Team: An Athletic Metaphor ...

We are getting there, that's the message from those of us planning District "Digital-Everything" Technology Day in mere weeks, not months. The sled is in motion -- new team members and workshop offerings have been added and pared down. The demand for labs to provide hands-on learning opportunities for teachers exceeded what we could initially provide, but that's sorted out. Rooms are assigned; presenters' technology needs are factored in. Everyone coming should now know that lunch will be provided, and the sushi "boxes" are ordered. The student helpers are raring to go. Wirelessness has been assured. People have been told to bring digital cameras and/or laptops if they wish. Stress is elevated. The keynote speakers have advanced their themes; we've got their technical requirements. There are fewer than 60 spaces left, and we expect those to be gone by early next week.

When one's professional life devolves to a single obsessive focus for more hours a day than one likes to admit, one might, as I do, seek relief in humour. (I am wondering if this is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi meant when he advanced the notion of "flow.") As we tumble towards the District "Digital-Everything" Technology Day, I have come to see the only method we, the organizing committee, could utilize was "the Jamaican bobsled team" approach. Can we once again assemble the talent, garner the resources, shape the day, and retain good professional relations as we work under real time and other constraints to pull off a great District day -- a real contender -- one that district colleagues/educators will be delighted with, in consideration of the time they spend getting there, attending sessions, and hearing speakers? I would say, resoundingly, Yes. Teachers who come for technology learning are, in my experience, happy to have the opportunity to be able to get together for support and new ideas. Theywill forgive the small shortcuts. They have come to anticipate their Day together, of coming "into the zone." The "bobsled team" is assembled out of its own enthusiasm for technology in teaching. We are excited about THE DAY and there is a feeling, a new district spirit, of enthusiasm for technology integration with teaching and learning.

Have you signed up online and shared the Day's information with your colleagues? Need more information? All can be found when you go to the online registration listings. You can also sign up here. It's great to see such staff participation from Laurier, Henderson Annex, and VLN.

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