A few months ago, I read a book called “The One Thing” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan, and found myself enchanted by the seemingly simple ways to keep focus and to really work on being better One Thing at a time. It was a great read and I was able to adapt some of the ideas into my workflow and work ethic to make my life and work a little more focused and deliberate.
But recently I attended CETPA 2017, and went to a session by Dr. John Morgan, Director of EdTech for Capistrano Unified that changed the way I viewed the book and the way I am now approaching teacher training for my district.
John’s presentation about their district transformation was great, and in Capo Unified, they focused on one thing to help their teachers integrate technology- Google Slides. It was the “One Thing” that made the teachers see they could innovate and bring their current tools with them on the journey. So much of the time teachers fear change because they think that by embracing technology and learning about new tools means they need to abandon old tools and ways of doing things. With the “One Thing” model, teachers could bring their bag of tricks with them and use just one tool to tech it up.
I think that the ease of use and the “One Thing” attitude can be helpful in my current district when approaching technology integration. We are a Microsoft district, and so we have extensive training on OneNote, which is a great classroom app. I think that by concentrating on just training for OneNote, we could lower anxiety and concentrate efforts in training to get more teachers trained, excited and using tech than before. The beauty of OneNote being our one platform is that is very versatile. Our tech-anxious teachers can learn and explore the basics of student rostering, digitizing curriculum and collaborating online, building their confidence and tech acumen. Our more advanced or tech literate teachers can explore some of the advanced features like embedding content from PowerPoint, Forms, videos off the net, and even interactive apps like Flipgrid and Discovery Education, which can be placed right into a OneNote page for ease of access and use.
By boiling down our Tech outreach and training to “One Thing” -OneNote in this case, we can maximize our professional developments and create a manageable system of training, supporting and expanding our teacher’s tech use and student experience. Thanks John for sharing your experiences and for inspiring our simplified and focused tech integration strategy!