Of the many powerful presentations I was privileged to attend at ISTE this summer, one that made me reconsider how I think about schools was called “Use Google Tools to Create a Great School” by Rushton Hurley.
To summarize an intriguing presentation, he pointed out that there are many great schools out there that could be better by leveraging technology to their benefit. His presentation had a Google Tools focus and therefore most of what he had to share was how to best implement such things as using Google Forms to facilitate staff meetings and more. His idea of Google Docs as a collection and sharing tool in schools or districts is hardly new, which is encouraging as Canyons School District is working to implement this currently for both teachers and students.
Perhaps the point he made best was that we should be using tech tools to showcase successes in our schools rather than allow state testing to take the spotlight. Hurley claimed “…every teacher does something great at least once a year, even if by accident, and we should share it!” He went on to explain that the whole sense of what makes a great school is based on how well information is shared. I tend to agree. If we can use the tech tools at our disposal to showcase the powerful learning that happens in our schools we have created an opportunity for more than just pride. I’d like to look into helping share more classroom successes in my schools this year through images with clever captions and short video clips. In this endeavor I know I will need help, so I ask teachers and administrators; what ideas do YOU have? How can we show students and remind teachers they are important and there is more going on than testing in our classrooms?