Learning To Learn
I have used Microsoft Word
since version 5.1 was released in 1992. I’m
writing this note right now using version 12.2.
Between then and now, the number of functions
and features added to this most popular of
applications is in the thousands. How many do I
utilize? Ten, tops. How many did I learn beyond
my own trial and error? Zero.
A similar gross disconnect exists when it comes to the use of
edtech. With all apologies to Waldorf schools, it is rare to hear
an argument against computing in the classroom anymore. The
question of how we do it productively, and more specifically,
how we learn to use it productively, is still largely unanswered.
How many pieces of hardware have you seen sit unused over
the years? How many software applications remained encased
in shrinkwrap on the shelf?
Of course, answering these questions is at the core of our
editorial mission. Each month in print and every day online,
we try to encourage that most vague of phrases—professional
development—through the sharing of best practices amongst
our readers. This month we have two articles that highlight this
attempt. In our special pullout section, contributing writer Ellen
Ullman breaks down the options for creating a strategy for
learning (“Finding the Right Fit: Which PD Suits Your Teacher’s
Needs?”). And in our second installment of the Long Review, we report on how the administration at Village
Charter school intends to educate its faculty to embrace new
curriculum software holistically. Hopefully, their experience can
inspire your own life-long learning. In the meantime, I’m going
to check out what this mail merge manager tool is all about.