While the annual Consortium for School Networking conference tends to cater more toward administrators, an early theme of this year's event is that teachers may be more willing to dive into reform than they're given credit for.
It's a theme Douglas Thomas touched on during his morning keynote, before contrasting the willingness of many teachers with what he saw as hesitance by teacher educators.
Some sessions this morning about using video for professional development echoed that sentiment.
K.K. Owen from the Escambia County, Fla., school district, said she's been shocked at the desire of teachers to participate in the district's fledgling video initiative. Even the Florida Education Association has shown unexpected support for the initiative, which we previously wrote about in last year's Spring/Summer issue of Digital Directions.
"With full support of the teachers' union, we've actually rolled this out in half-a-dozen classrooms of really struggling veteran teachers so they could just see how much they were struggling," said Owens, who launched the program originally to assist rookie teachers only. "It's sort of gotten away from us a little bit. It's way bigger than we thought."
Thomas Q. Adams, now the director of technology at the private, PreK-12 Rocky Hill School in Rhode Island, found a similar phenomenon when he opened video review as an option for teachers in his previous position at The Taft School, a boarding high school in Connecticut.
"I'm proud to say that, I left Taft at the end of last year, but they're still doing this at Taft," Adams said of the project, which has grown substantially from a half-dozen or so teachers that were initially willing to have lessons taped once a week for five weeks. "It turned out to [grow to] close to 30 people total out of a teaching faculty of 90," he said.