Thursday, March 5, 2009
Well, here's hoping this works out... the IT department (unbeknownst to all of us) has had their own private twitter going on for the past couple of months using www.yammer.com. I serendipitously (maybe?) found out about it and started to invite my colleagues like mad. Hopefully this will provide the school with a conversation space in which to go over some things. Unlike most schools I've been at, this one doesn't have discussions. I mean, like, never. We have meetings, to be sure, but they are almost always uni-directional; we're told what's going on and questions are kept to a minimum as the time in which the information is pushed out to us is relatively short (yes, it's a poor model for us teachers, especially with some beginning educators in the audience). If you want to provide input to the administration, you have to make an individual appointment with the appropriate person; there is no opportunity for us to meet and talk together as a faculty. So, any discussions of instruction, assessment, technology has had to occur very slowly, incrementally, from person to person, from office to office.
Unfortunately, using tools like yammer does restrict the conversation to those willing to participate in the online environment. Like many of our classroom, there's now a discussion going on that many are unaware of. And decisions are made without hearing all the voices. Twas ever thus, I suppose.