BUT, it is quicker if you have a colleague to brainstorm with!
Enter (Stage Left) - Digitally Curious Colleague
Much of the digital world I try to get my head around these days has large components of collaborative capability, which are the ultimate digital tools for a teacher. Having a curious colleague to help you explore it all means that one of you can be the teacher and one of you can be the student, nutting out all the useful tricks of the tool. The Web must be littered with carcasses of old embryonic 'Test' files and accounts of collaborative digi-tools created by teachers and their digitally curious side-kicks.
Microsoft Teams is out and true to form, I have created a 'Test Team' and roped in 3 digitally curious colleagues to work out how it all works. Another embryonic digital carcass in the making. My colleagues go along with their role as side kick with enthusiasm, and helpfully answer all the internal dialogue questions I ask such as "Who can see this, I wonder if this chat stream is private?" and daft comments like "Ooo - it doesn't look like this turns up in my email feed". My trusty, digitally curious side-kicks just join in the conversation.
On Friday, I was building a conference presentation with a colleague and had a need to ask this question "Is group blogging even a thing?". Even when all curious colleagues nearby don't know the answer, there is always someone in world who has asked your digi-curious question before and what do you know? I googled that question and came across an unknown digitally curious colleague who not only had the answer, but also published the important 'how to' information. I worked it all out, joined my co-presenting colleague to the blog and hey presto, I had gone from not knowing group blogging was even a thing to starting and publishing a group blog in 25 min.
Some of my digitally curious colleagues have applied to become Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts and so it seems our time of exploring digital tools together is set to increase. My personal learning has been great as a MIE-expert over the last year but this learning would not have been as productive, as fun, or as expansive, if I had not had the privilege of working with my digitally curious colleagues.
- Kenton, C. Collaboration in Science https://collaborationinscience.wordpress.com/
- Lucas Rowlands, C. Come together: a guide for group blogs https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/group-blogging-guide/
- Microsoft Innovative Education Expert Programme https://education.microsoft.com/microsoft-innovative-educator-programs/mie-expert
- Microsoft Teams https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software