I am a big believer that within schools, we need one culture for everyone. We shouldn’t have a set of rules that are different for students, staff, and admin, but work to strive to create an extremely positive learning environment.
Here is an example of how this doesn’t exist in many places.
Imagine walking into a professional development session where teachers have their devices out and are doing whatever they need. At the beginning of the session, the presenter asks everyone, “Could you please put away your devices and grab a notebook and pen?”
Seriously, try it. See the looks that you get from the adults in the room.
Now is it because we are given this right as an adult to bring in technology to these sessions, or is it because we know that people learn in their own way and we would not want to infringe upon that? I would have no problem with someone having a notebook out and writing in it, like I wouldn’t have a problem with someone using an iPad. Yet we ask this of kids all the time in classes. I know that if you ask students right now to get devices out to work on them, many probably would goof around because they have never been shown the power of these tools as learning devices. Still, we need to continue to work to get to this point.
This works the other way around as well.
We often talk about how we need to personalize and differentiate learning for our students. How it is so important that we meet the needs of each individual and try to tailor learning to their strengths and interests. Yet how often do we do “one-size-fits-all” learning with adults. We have to rethink professional development for our adult learners as well.
Really what we should be focusing on what works for learning, all the time, and for different people. Create that one culture within your school and work towards it. We know way more about learning now than we ever have and I think it is essential we continue to implement this knowledge into practice.