Its been a very busy term. I am only just beginning to realise how stressed I have been (Sorry to those around me). Since getting back home on Saturday morning from the HHL Conference I have done a lot of sleeping. Its the mid term holiday here in Scotland this week. Myself and Caroline decided not go anywhere but stay at home and enjoy where we live. I am starting to feel like my old self again. I am now starting to reflect on what we are doing in Islay High.
I am not sure if its because we have been working towards this for a, relatively, long time but I am constantly surprised by the reaction of people who hear what we are doing. Even people who have been involved in technology in Education are surprised. In fact as I talked to all the amazing people at the conference. I felt like I was telling them something they already know and I would pull back. Preaching to the converted I suppose. Its only during the conversation that I would expand on what we are doing and they would be visibly surprised and I would then be surprised by that reaction. The question I now have is why are they surprised?
The evidence which I have heard and read both at the conference and long before that has shown that use of technology in education is a very positive thing. In fact technology has always been adopted into education, so long as its appropriate. After all pencil and paper is just another technology. My S1 learn a definition of technology as being 'Anything made by humans to solve a problem'.
I see what we are doing has a 'normal' next step in the use of technology. Pupils moving from paper technology to electronic technology. Pupils accessing the materials they need to achieve what they need to achieve while being guided/mentored by peers or staff. I still think think that use of the appropriate 'tool' is a vital part of learning. One of the most important tools is the human relationships.
One question that everyone asks is,'How do you get teachers onside?'. This is the point in which I am most proud of our little school. Never has anyone said what we are doing is the wrong thing. They have questioned, quite rightly, aspects or processes but never the why. The staff in Islay have taken on the task of rethinking the way they teach and the way technology impacts on that and then simply gotten on with it. Admittedly they knew it was coming and could not ignore it but have turned up for voluntary 'drop in' training sessions and asked about How can I use it.
I suppose the point I am trying to make here is that technology has already moved and continues to move on at a huge pace. Teachers know it. Parents know it. Now the whole community needs to move on.
To quote my own paper to the HHL Conference,'Just do it!'