Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Future Looks Promising

Yesterday, I met with the head of our Foreign Teacher department to discuss "the future." I started off with a short keynote that quickly led into a discussion on how to train 21st Century Connected Educators. It was only a matter of time before another teacher would have stepped up and mentioned something similar to what I am suggesting now. At least I hope so. Our school has internet with ethernet cords, but we don't have wifi. The classrooms only have a TV and a computer. I don't say this to complain but to simply state the facts. This doesn't mean that we can't use other resources. Instead of complaining, we can choose to be part of the solution.

The next step my supervisor wants me to take is to hold a PD on a social media topic. (She has no idea how pumped I am for this!) I informed her that Twitter is the most powerful with all of its capabilities, but I'd like to start with optional PDs for only the foreign teachers. Obviously because the Chinese don't have VPNs so consequently Twitter is blocked for them. Plus, I'd like to train others how to use it and other methods in order that our department doesn't rely solely on me for ideas, tech support, and all that jazz. I just don't want my colleagues to feel pressured to dive into this.

Thankfully, this week a few officemates and I will also be starting weekly spark chats similar to #BFC530. It will take place on a platform used mostly here in China called QQ. It's not public in its conversations, but it's a start. The end goal within this small part of the big picture is to have the other foreign teachers at our school on Twitter to have more autonomy and purpose in their professional & personal development by way of worldwide collaboration. Baby steps...

Suggest has been the key word through all of this. A few people have pointed out that I can be quite forceful on people in our context. When I was first told this, I had to immediately examine myself and see what the problem was. I still have the tendency to point out wrongs and say what should fix it. That won't get me anywhere. I must be positive, communicate with other staff and learn more what support they need, integrate more tech tools myself, and keep moving forward.

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