Teachers’ Lounge

As I’ve stated before, school districts need a central hub where teachers can access resources and discover best practices. In the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, we’ve created a website entitled Teachers’ Lounge where teachers and administrators can find information that includes ‘Appy Hour’ dates and times, lesson plans, professional development, YouTube videos offering looks into teachers’ classrooms, and much more. Schoolwires, Inc. recently wrote a piece about the site (a PDF can be found here), and on March 5th at 3pm (Eastern Time) we’ll be sharing how we’ve used Teachers’ Lounge to engage and train the educators in our district.

If you’re interested, please join us on March 5th for this free webinar. You can register for the meeting here to see our presentation and ask any questions you have. For a more in-depth look at our thought process, be sure to check out A Brave New Classroom, which discusses solutions for tackling the 21st century issues education is facing.

A brave new classroom

Satya Nadella is Microsoft’s new CEO, and he sent a letter to the employees. From what he wrote:

 Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation.

Yes, the technology field truly does respect innovation more than tradition. I think the field of education should follow suit. Things are changing extremely fast. What we’re teaching kids today may not be the same tomorrow. As such, teachers, administrators, and professionals in the curriculum and technology departments need to continually adjust strategies, lesson plans, and procedures to help better aid our students.

I’ve been working on a book off and on for the last five months entitled A Brave New Classroom. It’s directed toward teachers, but anyone who’s interested in education can read it. I’m posting it here as a work in progress. There are some reasons for this:

  1. Once I finish my next novel, The High Places, I plan on spending more time writing about education.

  2. Posting a book you’re writing online is a great way to inspire motivation to finish it.

  3. I welcome advice and ideas from others. Sharing while I’m writing may foster a discussion that otherwise wouldn’t happen.

  4. I like the idea of having a book in a Google Doc because education is changing rapidly, and writing a book–even an ebook–doesn’t allow for the speed needed to make changes, additions, and subtractions from the manuscript. Maybe I’ll keep A Brave New Classroom as a Google Doc forever. Education’s not going to slow down anytime soon, and I’ll need the agility of changing the document when necessary.

(On a side note, what is a book? Does it have to be bound anymore? Does it need a cover? How many pages constitute a book? Can a collection of information in a web browser be considered a book?)

I’ll also include A Brave New Classroom in the Books Tab at the top of Rise and Converge. Whenever there’s a new and substantial addition, I’ll post it here. Some of these additions may include chapters, pictures, quotes, and ideas I receive from readers of this website.

 Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation.

This is so true. We all would benefit from trying our best to not rely on aging tradition when innovation can lead to positive change in others’ lives.