The Pendulum… #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 related to constant changes and the pendulum effect in education.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Write a post about learning styles and your thoughts on the recent research suggesting they are an ineffective teaching/learning tool.
  • Discuss another topic where you have seen the pendulum shift in your time in education.
  • Share about a subject where you have changed your mind and describe why.
  • What is the next great pendulum shift you expect to happen over the next five years?

What’s my pendulum? Hmmm… I feel I haven’t been an educator long enough to see major pendulum shift from one side, swings all the way to the other side, and then back again.

My pendulum swing is something I find constantly swinging to both sides: teacher voiced-choice in PD. In my role as a technology coach to a diverse population (various grade levels, content areas, etc), I try to give teachers choice in what they want to learn about.

So, let me backtrack a little here. Last year, my colleague, Kim Lowden, and I planned out PD sessions where we picked a central topic, let’s say digital assessment, then created resources for four subtopics. Teachers were able to select which topic interested them and explore the resources as I circulated checking in on each attendee. What was the feedback we would hear, “I had decision paralysis when choosing” or “Just tell me the one thing I should be looking at”

Now fast forward to this year. My new counter-part at the other middle school, Stacey Lindes, and I have taken that feedback and scaled down to showing one-two choices; for instance Engaging Your Students w/ Content showcased Nearpod and Pear Deck. What do I hear from my teachers… “What happened to having choices” or “Are there other items I could explore”

The pendulum swing of teacher voiced-choice goes from wanting multiple choices to explore, to give me just one option to enact. I know you can’t please everyone; I just want to plan sessions which respects their autonomy but doesn’t overwhelm with offerings.

Is there a happy medium? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

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