April 26, 2006

Repitition and Passion

I’m thinking of beginning all of my workshops and talks on the read/write web with this cavaet, “Don’t get too excited about any of this because the chances of any of you really making this a reality in your classroom is almost nil.” Not very optimistic but I think fairly accurate.

Brian Crosby of Learning is Messy writes,

You can’t just show most people – you have to show them and explain it to them and then answer their questions and then show it to them again and then explain it to them again and then show them how this relates to things they already do – takes the place of this and makes it even better and does this and this and this! I’m telling you they will think the vodcast was kinda cool… would be an interesting thing for their kids to do once if they had the equipment and the time and someone to show them how to do it. But they won’t get it until they experience you doing it and getting them to do it…several times … and talk about it and have them notice their students’ reaction and learning and how they talk about it and how excited their parents get about it.

As I consider our new school division and structure, I’m trying to think differently about how we do things. One belief that I’ve always had is that teachers need to develop a personal use of technology before it becomes a regular part of their teaching. I’d be interested in surveying teachers who are using the tools of the web in their classrooms about how they use it in their personal lives. I’m guessing most are using it seamlessly both at work and home.

I’m passionate about this stuff as most of you are. Reading this entry makes me think about how we might encourage teachers more:

Our passions often represent something about who we are. For many of us, the thing we’re passionate about is not just a hobby, product, service, cause, etc… it’s a way of life.. Ted Leung explainined to me that as a result of his relatively recent passion for photography, he “sees the world differently now.” Passionate golfers have apparently elevated golf to some kind of spiritual status–it is, for them, about much more than just hitting a ball with a stick. Ditto with fly fishing (it’s apparently not about the fish or the flys). The guys from 37signals offer much more than software apps… they represent a philosophy (the whole “getting real/it-just-doesn’t-matter” thing). MindJet’s Mind Manager not a mind-mapping tool, it’s a way of thinking.

So I’m going to focus on how the existing passionate users can better tell there stories over and over and over again….after 22 years of marriage my wife almost gets it when I got teary eyed as Jack Nicklaus crossed the Swilken Burn Bridge for the last time and I kind of appreciate a well designed quilt block.