Malaga, Spain Reflections

Participants sharing key take-aways at the end of Day 1
It was fantastic to work with the talented educators at the Norske Skolen i Malaga, Spain the last few days! I was very nervous heading over to work with this group because I'm not as familiar with the Norwegian system of education as I am with our own here in the States. I was worried that what I knew about iPad in schools might not transfer to a different culture and system.

I shouldn't have worried - the educators I worked with are some of the most passionate, fun and thoughtful folks I've had the pleasure of working with! Here are a few key reflections I had from the program:

Attitude trumps technical skills every time.
iPad is still new to many folks, apps are constantly changing and the OS gets updates. I love to see educators who have a positive attitude about technology in the face of this change. Teachers who can identify connections between established teaching methods, their students, and new tools will build tech into their classrooms in meaningful ways. As someone who teaches teachers for living my role is to provide the opportunity for these connections to take place.

Consume - Create - Context
A trainer from Golden Mac talked about how iPad can be used to consume content, create content and also to provide context. I love this idea. In fact I think this is how every teacher training should work! Teachers should see from the presenter an idea (consume) and then have a chance to do something with that idea (create). After creating (and sharing what they made) teachers should have the chance to reflect on that idea and draw connections back to their teaching (context).

Thoughtful technology integration should be the same (but different).
Here's the thing - I was an American teaching Norwegian (and a few bonus Swedish) teachers at a school in Spain. Even though we sometimes swapped between four languages we were all speaking the same fundamental language: the language of teachers. Thoughtful technology integration is grounded in engaging teachers in a conversation with academic leadership, students, and parents about what matters in school. The tools, apps, devices, and ideas that flow from that conversation will almost feel inevitable. Technology integration will look different in every school (and every country / culture) but the questions can be grounded in a similar process.

Do you have any questions for me about how the training went? Were you at the training and you'd like to share more of your thoughts? Keep the conversation going in the comments below!