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Friday, May 7, 2010

Creating an environment where risk taking and failure is celebrated...

As a professional adult learner do you allow yourself to fail? Is it encouraged by your admin...what about your site techs? If so...how do you foster that environment? Is it something that we can expect as professional learners or is the idea of failure embarrassing and likely met with ridicule and or finger pointing. I'm reminded of a story by Tami Thompson (@teacherspirit) that she shared with me months ago. She was working at home on her own time seeking out the professional learning so many of us in our field do without even thinking about the extra hours or time away from family. Trying new technologies, downloading apps, finding ways to engage, enhance, and design learning where technology is embedded and not added on. While doing this she downloaded a virus or worm.

When she took the computer into her site tech, was she met with understanding and support for trying something and seeking out more learning. No, she was ridiculed, called out, and spoken to like a child for "downloading on a school computer"
This drives me batty! I've been there, I know what an awful feeling that is; being on a perceived island where you think that not only are you one of only a few trying these new technologies, but you are pushing your peers, offering to help, and now you've made a mistake. A mistake that is not your fault, a mistake that could be met as a celebration and a learning opportunity!
Jason Kern (@jasonmkern) told me when we talked about this, the conversation shouldn’t be about, “What did you do to this computer.” It should be more like, “Wow you must’ve been trying some really cool stuff to jack this thing up this bad.”
I guess, my point, if there is one, is that as adults we need to break things, we need to be able to learn from our mistakes, and creating an environment where we as teachers can do this, will go a long way to establishing a risk taking and self driven professional learning culture in our schools and buildings.

Posted via email from mwacker's posterous

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