Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stuck on an Escalator (VideoBlogChallenge 1)

I love this video for so many reasons! My teaching partner and I show it to the students at least once a year, but it can apply to so many situations. (Hence why I used it as the first #VideoBlogChallenge video.)  If you would like to participate in the Video Blog Challenge, please stop reading this post and read the directions here!)

If you don't want to participate, feel free to watch the video below that inspired me to write this post. (You can skip the last 30 seconds of the video.)

Stuck on an Escalator link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrSUe_m19FY

My favorite part of the video is where the lady screams HELLLLLP at the 46 second mark. I feel like this is how a lot of educators feel with regard to using technology in the classroom. I feel they step onto the escalator and it stops. They aren't always sure how to move forward and they just want to SCREAM.

A better analogy perhaps is climbing a staircase. I spend a lot of time with my best friend's three children (Annabelle-6, Joshua-2 and Sophia- 10 months) Sophia is at the stage where she wants to crawl EVERYWHERE including up the stairs. I feel like the stairs can secretly speak to her or there's some magnetic attraction because she is drawn to the stairs constantly! 

Here's a video of her journey to the top which I will use as an analogy about teachers and technology. Pay close attention.

WARNING WATCHING THE FOLLOWING THREE VIDEOS MAY RESULT IN AN OVERDOSE OF CUTENESS! 

video

#1- Isn't she adorable? 

#2- Did you notice how often she stopped?

#3- Did you notice how often I said "Go Sophia!" and other encouraging words?

#4- Did you notice that after the first staircase, there was another one literally around the corner?

#5- Did you notice that she crawled up one step at a time? 

#6 Did you notice that at some points she got distracted?

#7- Did you see where she almost fell, but I caught her?

#8- Did you see how proud she was at the top?

#9- Do you see where I'm going here?

Ok, now on to the next video. Here's Sophia's older brother, Joshua. He just learned to walk DOWN the stairs by himself! Same stairs - different 'climb!' Again, use this as an analogy for teachers using technology in the classroom.

video

#1- Isn't he adorable?

#2- Did you notice that he still took one step at a time, but he reached the end MUCH quicker than Sophia did?

#3- Did you notice that he needed support so he was smart enough to hold on to the wall?

#4-  Did you notice that he was just as happy and proud as Sophia when he finished!

Finally, onto the oldest child, Annabelle.  Her friend, Isabella, makes an appearance too!

video

#1- Aren't they adorable?

#2- Did you notice how much quicker Annabelle reached the top compared to her younger brother and sister? (6 seconds compared to 35 seconds and almost 2 minutes)

#3- Did you notice the competitive nature of the 'race?'

#4- Did you notice that at the top they were ready to run again. Annabelle posed at the end as compared to Sophia passing out! 

We can use these three scenarios with different levels of learners in our classroom. And we can definitely use these analogies for teachers. I am surrounded by many teachers who, by their own admission, are not "tech-savvy." They don't know where to begin and sometimes they're thrown onto a staircase without much support.

I feel bad for these teachers, because many want to make it to the top! They truly do! I look up to these educators. They do amazing things everyday in their classrooms WITHOUT technology. But the want to learn more is there. There's pressure constantly to use technology in the classroom, but there are many roadblocks in their way. (They don't know what to use, how to use 'it' and where to start!)

Some teachers hear about a new piece of technology and 'sprint up the stairs' like Annabelle. Others are on a more steady climb like Joshua, and others are crawling along like Sophia and are so overwhelmed by the climb that they want to pass out!

However, I don't feel bad for the teachers stuck on the escalator like in the video at the top. Each and every educator is responsible to not get stuck on the escalator. There's no excuse to scream and complain until someone comes to push a magic button so you can ride to the top!

FYI: The 'magic button' is hard work and perseverance! 

HELPLESSNESS is one of the worst attributes we can model for our students.

So what are we to do about this situation? 

1.) We need to help our co-workers set goals with regard to using technology in the classroom.  (Why are you climbing this staircase? What's at the top?)

2.) We need to provide ONGOING professional development to help them achieve these goals. 

3.) We need to provide good examples and support so they can see what the possibilities are.  (Who do you turn to for motivation, encouragement and support?)

And just like our students: 

4.) We have to be patient with them!  We have to encourage them!  We have to reassure them!  

I hope I can be that person to the teachers in my school and district, and I hope you'll be that person to the amazing educators you work with daily. Remember, for many, they really do want to learn! However, for the ones who are stuck on the escalator - you have my permission to PUSH THEM OFF. Hopefully they'll fall onto a staircase and, most importantly, hopefully they'll decide to CLIMB!

Lesson #19: Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn't matter.  -Arnold Schwarzenegger

So, with regard to technology, who are you?  Sophia?  Joshua? or Annabelle? or are you 'Stuck on the Escalator?" What are your thoughts on this subject? Leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter (@ArinKress)

I know one thing is for sure:  Everyone that I follow on Twitter is my Isabella. You may get there before me, but I'll get to the top eventually! Thank you for pushing me to climb to the top and to tackle new staircases that I would have never discovered!



Finally, if you're curious as to why this blog is called "Hate Chalk" you can find out in this post. In education I feel as though I'm a mix between Annabelle and Joshua, but outside of school, I'm a Sophia.  Technology hasn't always been my forte, but I see the benefit for students so I strive to learn as much as I can to help my students grow.  I also love helping others, and that's why I felt compelled to write this post.

Thanks for reading! 

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