Met with the Social Studies Articulation group yesterday and trained them on how to use the site. I think all of them realize the potential good that can come from doing this, especially in our situation where we draw 700 kids a year from four different sending districts who have little or no conversation with each other about what is taught or how. But in talking with the supervisor here after the meeting, we both agreed that this is going to be a slow trip. The goal is to have 25 such objects by the end of the year. I think that’s optimistic. I could just tell from the people in the group that a) this is still such a new way of doing things that it’s going to take a complete shift in their thinking and process to make it work, b) they see this as something additional to do rather than something important, and c) there is some genuine discomfort with many of them in sharing the work that they do in a public fashion. The last is most interesting to me. I wonder if it’s because it will require a higher standard of work and detail than they are used to, or if it is more a fear of doing something different.
Either way, it’s obvious the teachers and the team members will need to be incentivized. I really love what Alan is doing at Maricopa to get the schools in his system to contribute to his teaching and learning exchange. Forty of the 130 or so posts in my aggregator this morning were from his site as their challenge ended at midnight last night. They’re able to offer some pretty cool software packages to the schools, and I’m wondering if we might not be able to rustle up some similar donations from our software vendors that we can pass through. Or free desserts at the local family restaurant, or something.