Pushing the (Digital) Envelope

20110925-092824.jpg I recently started working with a new client to help their teacher leaders become district trainers for one of our lines of work. They had previously worked with a colleague of mine with great success, but I knew that our two different presentation styles would be a shift for them.

My colleague had warned me, when I asked if I could simply create a Google site for the work, that the technology wasn’t readily available to do so and that I should come prepared with paper handouts and a flash key drive.

I struggled with the message that I was hearing: in spite of my role in helping schools to transition into 21st century learning environments, I should enable them to continue doing things in an expensive, time-consuming manner. I made a risky decision…I uploaded all documents onto a Google site and sent an email asking them to bring a laptop or iPad if available.

The first morning was dicey…one person had to take the documents from my flash key and run to the office to print them off. I started to question my doggedness. When we moved to the computer lab later in the day, I started to feel some hope.

By the second morning, however, everyone brought a device or borrowed a netbook from the cart that had been sitting in the room the entire time (!) The transformation was amazing…people were actively adjusting slides and adding notes as I was presenting. By the end of the day, they had finished products ready to use. My favorite moment came as I listened to two colleagues talk about their upcoming presentation:

“Should we provide handouts, you think?”

“No, (gesturing to her own pile of papers) it’ll just end up on a shelf somewhere. Let’s get them on the Google site and give them tools they can use right away.”

I’ve said this before…I love my job 🙂


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