Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tracy's Tuesday Tech Tip: Being a Play-Caller

When you live in Wisconsin, Packer Nation is everywhere. You hear LALALALAMBEAU about every-other-commercial break on various TV Stations, people bring out the cheeseheads on Sundays, and the bumper stickers are posted proudly on Ford Pickups and other vehicles in Packer Country.

Regardless of your fan support of the green and gold or another team, one cannot deny the importance of the quarterback, the play-caller of the game. He's the one who makes the decisions, sees the intangibles, and is responsible for key communication to all members on the field.

In many ways, teachers are play-callers - they are the ones who have their eyes scanning all corners of the room (for more than checking in on behavior). But they also scan assessments to regroup students, the expressions of learners' of confusion or understanding during a mini-lesson, and also the first to cheer on a new touchdown of a student "getting it" after a lot of hard work.

Quarterbacks collaborate with their teammates - they get other perspectives of coaches, wide receivers, running backs and more to truly enhance their craft of route reading and learning the intangibles. Those intangibles to us are the teachable moments - where something went on a path we didn't expect, but allow us to build connections with our team of learners.

Ever-important in this process is building our community of learners - our learning team - together. Creating a PLN as was discussed in SDW Tech Integration Now can bring new learnings and perspectives to the classroom just as an offensive coordinator does with the quarterback. Viewing teaching and learning in a different light allows us to reflectively tweak and modify for the benefit of our learners.

One way that has worked in bridging key learning concepts and strategies with technology is with a student tech team. Each of our tech team members completed both an application and training modules to get the job as an iTechU Team Member. This practice allows for these students to become the play-callers and lead small groups through infusing technology practices. 

Students have their own way of teaching. Often, when they've demonstrated true mastery of the skills, there is so much rich fulfillment in watching them take the lead. As much as I love web-browsing, chatting online or exploring new ideas, they are just as much of a valid part of my PLN as anyone, as they have taught me many new ideas and strategies for teaching when they've had the opportunity as play-caller.

Try out a student tech team today! Who knows, they just might throw a touchdown...

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