This morning the Digital Teachers (DTs) at the American School Foundation of Monterrey, met for our bi-monthly morning meeting. The DT role at ASFM is an applied position for teachers interested in taking on leadership responsibilities with technology. DTs are their grade level’s “go to” person for technology needs, they provide staff with professional development, and are often the school’s guinea pigs for sandboxing tools in the early adoption phase.
Today, the Tech Integration Specialists provided the 14 member DT team, with a Quick Fire Challenge. A Quick Fire Challenge (adapted from the TV show “Top Chef”) is a task presented to a group with a limited amount of time and particular parameters for completion. Prior to the meeting, digital teachers were split into 4 groups and pre-assigned an article to read, taken from one of our favorite resources, Edudemic – Connecting Education and Technology. After a few nuts and bolts were discussed, groups were given 20 minutes to create a visual of the key points from their article. They were then given 2 minutes to present their creation to the rest of the team. We provided DTs with the choice between 3 different creation tools/apps for an iPad to present their findings: Penultimate, Haiku Deck, and iMovie.
Following the presentations, we reflected on the Quick Fire. Some of the ideas were:
- It is okay to be outside of your comfort zone. When testing new tools and being rushed with time, learning still takes place and we let go of the need for perfection. Learn from the mistakes.
- It is important to test tools prior to using them in the classroom. Some DTs found it difficult to use a particular presentation tool they had committed to, and reflected on the importance of choosing the best tool to match the content that is to be presented.
- There was a common theme among each group beginning the activity. They started out by discussing the content they would present, then selected a tool to host the content. This is especially important to consider when selecting tools for learning. Think content and pedagogy, then find the appropriate technology.
- Taking risks is important, especially as leaders of technology use at ASFM. We need to be a model for testing tools out, learning, unlearning, and relearning.
The Quick Fire was a new activity to the DT meeting this week, and based on the reflections from teachers, it was an activity that proved valuable and one we may return to later down the road.
Below are links to the articles and results the DTs produced and shared.
Article: 10 Things Every Teacher Should Know How To Do With Google Docs