For a few reasons, but mostly my passion in sharing what I have learned in our COETAIL class, I started a Summit Innovative Cohort (SIC) at my school. Our teachers have had very little professional learning around Digital Literacy, building their PLN, Creative Commons, and using technology in innovative and transformative ways. That had to change.
A few teachers and I have been trying to encourage the use of Google Apps for Education for years (as a start) but haven’t had much luck without district support or school leadership helping to model the tools. Teachers in my school work tremendously hard but I feel we are doing them disservice by not equipping them with the tools, skills and possibilities for teaching and learning today. This year, I have more hope and even more energy to help lead the change.
Inspired by Tony Wagner’s, Creating Innovators and seeing Dr. Young Zhao this summer at InnEdco, I decided on innovation for the direction of our cohort. Fortunately, the word sic (think big air) in a ski town goes a long way.
I wanted SIC to be pure awesomeness. Similar to the those restaurants in New York that only serve 20 hamburgers a night. Also, I didn’t want too many teachers to participate so I could provide more personalized support. I didn’t have to worry; only 10 teachers wanted in. I announced the big winners with lots of excitement leaving out the fact that all that applied were able to participate.
I’m impressed with our group so far. I’m no Kim or Jeff but I’m hoping to guide these teachers through a similar process while continuing to learn along with them. We have considerably less time than a normal COETAIL cohort, there is no formal credit attached to their work but I think it’a an important start. Our face-to-face meetings (we’ve had one) is something I cherish. Being part of an entirely online COETAIL cohort has been a challenge for me in building relationships. However, I want SIC members to learn that although we physically have each other, which feels safe, the power and learning will come from them connecting with others around the world.
Our first assignment was to join both our Google Classroom and our SIC Community via Google Plus. Teachers are also experimenting with Twitter and each has started a blog to reflect on their learning. A couple of students are already up and posting. I love how Alicia shares her initial hesitation in social media.