This week an amazing thing happened. Two other technology coaches and some teachers came to visit our district to see how we are using Canvas at the lower elementary level. This was such a valuable experience! Sometimes it's easy to stay nested in our own little cocoon that we forget to look outward to learn from others when it comes to all of this technology stuff! Here's what I took away from our day together:
1. Don't just show off the good stuff that's going on--talk about the hard stuff, too. What isn't going well? What are your struggles and how are other districts solving those same problems? It's becoming very clear to me that we often have the exact same issues going on!
2. Reciprocate--if you visit a district to see what's going on, offer an invitation for districts to come see you. Be vulnerable and let them come see the good, the bad, and the ugly...then-COLLABORATE!
3. Involve teachers when you visit other districts. It's great when admin and instructional coaches share a common technology vision, but our teachers need to see it, too. Also--if you can, during the visits allow those teachers to meet with a few teachers from the other district to talk to one another and collaborate. This is so important--it goes a long way for teachers to not only talk about their success, but to talk to others about the common struggles they are having...to realize they are not in this technology thing alone.
So--go on! Break out of your district's technology shell and glean what you can from others. Build relationships that benefit everyone. In the end, it will be our students that get the most out of this endeavor...and that's just good stuff!