My Own Chance to Learn

I’m currently attending two days of training for the superintendents of the Joint Management Team which encompasses Erie 1, Erie 2, and Catt/Alle BOCES. The session today was focused on Capacity Building, Moodle, and MUVE. Moodle is a very efficient and thorough way to offer course content to students on-line. I’ve seen teachers do such a terrific job with Moodle that their students became completely dependent on finding all of the content and resources in one spot any time they need it. Pretty cool stuff. For MUVE we got to have a look around in Second Life, a virtual world in which we could go to receive professional development opportunities–and a whole lot more is going on there than that but today we focused on the possible educational purpose.

I’ve been interested in Second Life for a while but I doubt I’ve got the patience to mess around in there long enough to see the value. It’s sort of like Twitter was for me, intriguing, but not sure how it enhances my learning or functions as a meaningful tool for my work life. The jury is still out for me on this one.

This is a relatively new group for me and I’m hoping to form relationships with the superintendents from our BOCES and strengthen the relationships I have with colleagues from Erie 1 and 2 BOCES. The amount of expertise and experience in the room is invaluable to a first year superintendent like me. Our hosts, the Western New York Regional Information Center (WNYRIC) particularly the Chief Technology Officer Carol Barber, are hoping that they can build our capacity as leaders to use 21st century tools. As Carol says in her welcome message to us,

A password-secure Superintendent’s Community resource is being provided to you as a 21st Century tool. It is a place to hone your 21st Century skills in a safe, secure environment; collaborate with your peers on topics of relevance across the WNY region; and receive up-to-date technology news and best practices.

I love this endeavor and commend Carol for her efforts. I wonder, will it be any easier to get superintendents to share ideas, ask questions, collaborate and LISTEN to each other than it is to get teachers to do the same?

After all, we’re just as used to going back to our schools and doing it our way as our teachers are used to doing the same in their classrooms. I’m ready for the collaboration, would definitely benefit from the knowledge and input of my colleagues, just questioning if we’ll actually take the necessary time to listen to one another and respond. Can we afford that kind of time? Can we afford NOT to take the time to work together, especially if it makes us all better? Hmmm. Just like what I want from my teachers, sharing ideas, learning from each other, strengthening all of us.