One of our Seton Hall students told a great story last weekend about the value of being open to learning from students. This superintendent wanted to learn more about podcasting and signed up for a workshop at a local school. He knew, however, that the technology would probably be a bit over his head, so he invited one of his students to go along with him. Sure enough, within a short time, the superintendent was feeling overwhelmed, but “Travis” kept nodding his head reassuringly. When they left, Travis told him that everything was under control, and he’s since taken a lead role at getting podcasting going at the school. And the best part for the superintendent is that Travis is just a freshman. “I’ve found a tech mentor who will be here for three more years,” he said.
Alan repeats this consistently at his workshops, but I have yet to see anyone at one of my trainings have a student next to him or her. Why not? Why wouldn’t we want to tap into the interest that some of our kids have in technology, and the natural desire to help and to teach? I bet most conferences would comp a student if we wanted to bring one, and I know that we’d love to have students participate in the workshops we do for teachers at our school. Do we feel threatened? Embarrassed?
These days, our students can teach us (and the world, for that matter) a great deal. If we let them.
Great post – love this idea for all both administrators and teachers!