Challenging Situations… #EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Prompt: Write a post about challenging situations.
Here are some ideas or topics you may wish to include:

  • Share your biggest teaching challenge and explain how you overcame it
  • Write a motivational “how-to” for overcoming a common challenging situation.
  • Do a review on a book or website that has helped you overcome a challenging situation. What was the challenge? How did the book/website help you?
  • Discuss any thoughts or experiences you have about challenges in education.
  • Talk about a time when a student was facing a challenge and you provided strategies to help the student. What were they? How did they help?

I’m a technology coach (my district loves long titles, so I’m really a Teacher Resource Specialist for Technology) which many people expect to mean I know everything about technology and how to operate/use all the digital tools available. With technology constantly changing, new tools coming out each day, that is an impossibility. At times it is beneficial that many tools utilize the same icons and I can get a handle on something quickly. But the expectation to “know it” can be daunting.

So when a teacher friend of mine, from the south, who knows what I do, scoffed at me not knowing/using Instagram; I felt challenged.

“You use technology all the time, how are you not using Instagram? I needed you to explain it to me and why my students want me to use it?”

Well, maybe this can be a social media tool that could come in handy. So that night I opened an account. Started to use it to share one of my hobbies. I’m slowly getting a handle on it, might not know all the ins & outs, but getting there; it’s a work in progress. I even added a new page to this blog to embed a ThingLink which will share each of the posts.

The main thing is this, when provided a challenge, make it an opportunity and jump in (feet first is best, diving is not approved because we don’t know the depth). Challenges, as someone once described to me, are the speed bumps which keep us from increasing our velocity and loosing control of our vehicle.

What’s a challenge you’ve had to deal with lately? How did you ‘jump in’ and tackle the challenge? I would love to read about it in the comments below.

  14 comments for “Challenging Situations… #EdublogsClub

  1. Sue Waters
    February 22, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Hi Dan

    It is funny that there is this expectation that if you work with technology it means you know everything about technology and how to operate/use all the digital tools available. I’m regularly asked by people who know me to assist with social media tools that I’ve either never used or rarely used. I think our true power is our familiarity with technology means we’re able to quickly find information or work out how to use it even if we’ve never used it.

    I used Instagram years ago. It’s like any other social media – it appeals to how you want to connect with others or doesn’t. I would be interested to know more about the subject taught by the teacher, the ages of the students and why the students see a benefit to using it.

    PS really enjoyed checking out your wood carvings. Did you know you can embed Instagram images into posts by pasting the URL ( http://help.edublogs.org/embedding-with-a-url/ ) and you can add an Instagram widget to your sidebar ( http://help.edublogs.org/instagram-widget/ )

    @suewaters

    • Mr. G.
      February 23, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Hi Sue, you’re right! People expect if you use anything technology related then you must know all technology. A portion of the time, I can manage to navigate a tool because many of the digital tools out there have adapted to a common image/icon, take for instance the three vertical dots that Chrome, Google, and other tools use to mean ‘more items’. But really the majority of the time, I figure it out because I opt for the student perspective of technology exploration, the “reckless clicker” approach. When someone asks, “How did you figure it out” I respond with, “I just click around till I found what I needed.” I did know about the widget, just wasn’t sure if I wanted that on all my pages, but thank you for the URL tip, I was unaware of that one.

      • Sue Waters
        February 23, 2017 at 7:54 pm

        Hi Dan,

        I think it is a combination of advanced search skills and the “reckless clicker” approach.

        I’m still curious about the potential use with the students. Can you tell me more about subject taught by the teacher, the ages of the students and why the students see a benefit to using it?

        FYI if you enable the widget visibility module of Jetpack you can use it to control which widgets are displayed on which pages – http://help.edublogs.org/widget-visibility/

        • Mr. G.
          February 24, 2017 at 7:52 am

          Hi Sue, the teacher is a middle school art teacher who was at the same undergrad institution as me. She just wanted a means to increase the audience of her students and their work. They mentioned how Instagram was their go-to platform, so she wanted to meet them where they are. Thank you for that resource, I will check it out!

        • Mr. G.
          February 24, 2017 at 8:02 am

          Sue, I tried to enable to visibility feature and received this error:

          Widget Visibility failed to activate. SyntaxError: Unexpected token < in JSON at position 0

          How should I proceed?

          • Sue Waters
            February 28, 2017 at 7:39 am

            Hi Dan, I thought I replied to this last week but looks like I didn’t 🙁 We’ve fixed the problem and you should be able to activate it now.

  2. Anne Schaefer-Salinas
    February 13, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Such great advice! I love that you see challenges as opportunities to grow your learning. I work to find ways to instill this attitude in our students and teachers.

    • Mr. G.
      February 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Anne, I find that is the only way to keep thinking positive!

  3. lwolters
    February 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I love the way you model being a learner.

    We need to move away from “just in case learning” to “just in time learning.” If you need it, you learn it. Thank you for this example!
    Best wishes.
    Lucinda

    • Mr. G.
      February 13, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Lucinda, thank you for the kind words. I hope to model for other teachers that we too can keep learning what we NEED to in order to best support our learners.

  4. bpd3super
    February 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Bring on those challenges! Good role model for your students.

  5. Cheryl
    February 11, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Good idea to jump in feet first, although I have been prone to diving in a few too many times. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mr. G.
      February 11, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Cheryl, I’ve dived in a time or two and have learned to either go feet first or wear a helmet.

      • Cheryl
        February 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm

        Helmet! THAT’s what I have been forgetting 😉

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