Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Changing the world? Google Action Plan revisted

Nearly a year ago, I left the Google Teacher Academy (#gtachi) with a mission to think of an idea and carry out an idea that would change the world. Throughout the year, I've gone in and out of ideas that have interested me. However, as I reflect back at the year, I think - what really changes the world?

The Little Things

I think back to times I've gone to a teacher's classroom to fix a projector bulb,  to reconnect a Promethean Board, to fix a broken keyboard, etc. At the time, these tasks all seemed far away from my true passion - teaching. But, looking back, I realize these are opportunities for relationship-builders, for making connections with teachers. Because, any change does not happen without building connections. For change to happen, connections must be made.

I think about those classrooms where I did make connections - I was, then, given the opportunity to co-teach, hold small groups, and give PD.

And, after I co-taught, I build school programs for students through robotics and tech stars - programs that directly impacted a small and select group of students.

And, that's where I thought I left my year at - at making changes with a small and select group of students - and changes that I could not document. However, do those changes really just stop at those students? Will those programs make a connection with a student or students that will allow them to make a greater impact? Does this create a ripple effect of changes?

But, the problem was - I don't know and I may not ever know the extent at which the little things change the world.

Many teachers complete the GTA's mission to change the world, but they are hung up on a big and noble idea as opposed to focusing on the little things they do each and every day. And, teachers are not alone in this - students are as well.

So, here's my thought: what if we had a place to document the Little Things? What if we had a place for follow-up - a place where teachers could document their efforts and others could offer support and chronicle the changes that have been made? What if we found those little things that teachers and students do that do make changes and ripples and shared them to create greater ripples? What if we supported teachers and students in this way?

Yes, social media sites are great ways of sharing, but are often hard to see a continuum - to see the little things and their consequences.

Thoughts on developing this idea to harness the little things we all do into one collective wave? A virtual storybook of the little things.

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