Well, we did go to see Theodore Too yesterday.
We elected not to go in the middle of the afternoon as I’d heard through the grapevine that it was a huge gathering of people and you’d be lucky to get close.
We went over the normal supper hour and, as you can see from my picture, we were fortunate enough to get close.
While we were walking about, I ran into a former colleague and we, of course, started to chat about Theodore. Soon, though, the conversation went to school resuming. She indicated that she had about a year until she could retire. Congratulations to her about that.
I asked what she was looking forward to for this year – in Grade 5, and of course real reconnecting with kids was the first thought. She was a constant attendee at my workshops and mini-courses so it was natural that we eventually talked computers.
She had an interesting observation about using computers over lockdown and now moving into a world closer to reality. In her world, the creative use of technology had been put on hold during learning from at home. Sure, every child had access to technology – computer, Chromebook, or tablet, but it was essentially used for communications. In her case, it was with Microsoft Teams. It was an ordeal to keep students engaged for long periods of time and the technology was just used for communications.
Any curricular activities were essentially broadcasting her screen to her connected class. Any other attempts met with mixed success. With the range of technologies and communications speeds, it wasn’t realistic to expect that everyone would have the same experience. Careful about their well-being, it was in the best interest of everyone to not have homework assigned that needed internet access. And, there could be no expectation that there would be support on hand
should when challenges arose.
So, for this year?
She’s really looking forward to being in the close physical proximity to the students. She wants to see really active learning again and to witness and celebrate it first hand. She wants technology to deliver on the promise of equity and the ability to effectively research and create materials on their technology. Time spent working online with her class was truly different and there was a real feeling of lack of connection and learning satisfaction.
I got a finer appreciation for how I looked forward to having her attend workshops. She wanted to push the students and technology was one of the powerful techniques that she had at her disposal. She always had new, fun, and engaging ideas and felt thwarted in the past while but was looking forward to charging ahead.
You’ve got to love that.