Iâ€™ve mentioned that I have had a lot going on lately that has kept me from blogging very consistently. One of the diversions has been an online class about Marzanoâ€™s research based strategies implemented with technology support.
The class is being taught by Elizabeth Hubbell from Mcrel (Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning). There are about six schools in my school district that are participating in the class. Elizabeth doesnâ€™t fly out every two weeks from Denver to deliver her lesson, instead she comes to us via Marratech, an online meeting place. Each of the six school sites participating in the class has a web cam and we can see and talk to each other and text each other if necessary.
There has been a certain amount of unintended comic relief in the occasional dropped camera or mic left open mistake. My school site was only able to marginally participate in the first two meetings because the person onsite that installed the software was only marginally competent, so we had some connection issues. However this week I â€¦ I mean the person, used my Mac and an iSight camera and it worked flawlessly.
The class is really supposed to be about using Marzanoâ€™s strategies (and it is), but one of the intended consequences of the class is that it forces teachers and administrators to use technology in meaningful ways that they are not familiar or comfortable with (hence the unintended comic relief – see above). Weâ€™ve only met 3 times so far, but each time participants seem to gain a bit more confidence in logging-on, getting the web cam to work and use the other features of the software. To me just that is reason enough to embrace this use of technology, Iâ€™ll wait until the end of the class in March or April to decide if it is a truly effective use.
Learning is messy!