Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slice of Life #22 - Technology Enhanced Discussions

I feel like there's so much to learn with technology and just when I think I'm getting caught up there's a surge forward and I'm behind again. Lately I've been rather proud of myself though. I keep hearing talk of "just put it in a cloud." I had no idea what that meant and I have to say I don't fully understand how it works, but it is a beautiful thing!

I was first introduced to the concept of a cloud and google docs by colleague and fellow slicer, who is very tech savvy. It was amazing how we could collorate on a document simultaneously, with out having to save or send. It was liberating!

Recently, our coaching team has been been retooling to become instructional coaches and have been doing LOTS of reading of professional math books. My favorite series is the Young Mathematicians by Fosnot and Dolk. We knew we weren't doing the books justice with our discussions, we kept running out to time. So I thought we could use a google doc to get the conversation going and then when we get together we could discuss our lingering questions. I set up the document, shared it with the other coaches and we each took a chapter to develop questions and picked a color to personalize our posts. It has been awesome to see the conversations unfold right before our eyes. This format seems to allow for a deeper level of participation. I think I actually participate more than just in a live conversation. I can choose to add my thoughts or ask more questions about any of the lines of thinking that have developed.

I certainly don't think anything can replace a good conversation face to face, but technology sure does enhance and support these efforts!


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  1. I agree there is so much to learn with technology and I really can't keep up. I quickly goggled Cloud and I still didn't really get it. It sounds something like a dropbox...but I know nothing.

  2. I also love the back and forth in person, but what the google doc allows is thinking recorded in a time that is best for each individual so that when you come back together, your conversation will be that much stronger.
    I missed that you would now be an instructional coach. Math would be a difficult thing for me to pretend I have any expertise. This book sounds interesting, however.

    1. Yes, I'm nervous, but excited about the learning opportunity. Fortunately, as coaches we'll be learning alongside teachers, which is how I coach in literacy anyway. I really don't consider myself an expert - yikes. I think of it as coming alongside teachers and collaborating, reflecting and growing together.

  3. Love this!

    I'm currently working with several of my twitter PLN on two different projects through Google Docs. We'd never be able to do it otherwise. One is a "reading buddies" project (we chose a book to read together) and one is a "top ten" list for the Nerdy Book Club. Thank goodness for tech!