Follow Up to Mrs. Driscoll’s class!

Yesterday I celebrated Mrs. Driscoll for her work nudging herself along the Stages of Concern by using her Ipad with a reflection app to teach the kids how to publish on Pages, while at the same time showing them some ins and outs of the device. Today, I was invited back in, to watch the kids in action.  What do you predict I saw?  Yep, the kids were indeed publishing with incredible proficiency.  But, what gave Kim and I goosebumps was watching the collaboration. It was more than the typical neighborly, “let me show you,” kind of conversation. We saw kids authentically reaching out to help their classmates make their work better.  If you know elementary kids, you know that this is different.

As I watched Abby and Leila, I was struck by the very organic conversation and partnership that had bubbled up.  I honestly don’t even know who was helping who because it was such an even give and take. What I do know is that as a result of their conversation, BOTH girls work was enhanced.


Similar “give and takes” happened all over the classroom as kids looked up from their own work and reached out to help their classmates succeed.

One question we have batted around a bit in my district, is will kids detach from one another as they become attached to their device? Over and over again, we have heard from other educators….just wait! The collaboration will be there and it will be even better (in my interpretation, more authentic). Granted, the kids were collaborating on how to make their finished work better, so yes, the bells and whistles of Pages, but I’m telling you….they were in it not for themselves, but for their peers and keep in mind, it was their first day with the Ipads.  My fingers are crossed….

What has been your experience watching kids collaborate (or not!) with personal devices?


CBAM ~ Stages of Concern in Action!

CBAM ~ Stages of Concern in Action!

In case you were thinking I was making up how awesome my staff is, I wanted to share a tidbit I happened upon today. It was great timing as my post yesterday was on the Concerns Based Adoption Model and adult learners. Today as I strolled through a second grade class, I happened upon a teacher who has been wiggling around in Stage 3 (management!) and caught her as she took a step out into utilizing her Ipad with kids.

Kim is a great example of …”well, what the heck,I’ll try it…,” a really fun quality in a teacher! She has been making great use of her IPad as we had asked her to ~ living it, getting to know it, getting comfortable doing it. However, knowing her, I was not surprised when I walked in and saw her using her Ipad for the kids, with a reflection app on the ActivBoard, to engage them in a new (to them) way to publish. As she was showing the kids some of the ins and outs of Pages from her Ipad, they were able to watch her navigate the Ipad as she explained a bit about Pages and then were pumped when she told them they were going to check out an Ipad from the library for them all to use. They would even be able to present their writing form the Ipad with the reflection app….just like her! Student engagement,anyone?

As a leader, I celebrated her leap! As a learner, I asked her where she thought she was operating on CBAM. She very quickly responded ~ Level 3. When I probed as to why, she came back with a new number….2.5! (Not my intent by the way.) Kim’s reasoning made me smile: I feel like I am beginning to wonder how this will affect my classroom, but I also feel like the 3 is partly me because I am getting things ready and jumping in with experimenting with them more than just thinking about it . . . I don’t know is this a 2???

Based upon her response, what level would you suggest she is operating within?

Adult Learners ~ No Big Deal, right? Wrong!

Yes, our 1 to 1 Ipad initiative is for our students. But, before we can put Ipads into the hands of 451 kids, we as adults have some more learning and growing to do. As leader of my building, I consider my staff to be my students, and just as when I was teaching 6 and 7 year olds, all of them are unique and wonderful and need something just a little different than their neighbor. I love teaching!

I think we do ourselves and our adult learners a disservice when we assume that just because they are “grown ups,” they all learn alike. They are all ready to have their paradigms nudged. They will happily soak up and internalize all the good professional learning we have to share. When we do that, we do not value the background of our adult learners, what they bring to the table, their learning style, their worries, their hopes, their fears, their excitement, their optimism, their ideas.

Teachers especially, I think, are asked to turn on a dime; embrace this strategy, start using that assessment, change to these standards…change is a constant in our profession, and my friends, change is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. I am a fan and believe in the work and logic of Shirley Hord and the Concerns Based Adoption Model and as we plan ahead for 1 to 1 roll out at my school, it is a framework I refer to often. CBAM has three components: Stages of Concern, Levels of Use and Innovation Configurations. Even as I considered who were the two pilot teachers to launch the 1 to 1 work this Spring with just their two classes (See blog post A Long Time Coming) the CBAM Stages of Concern and Levels of Use models informed the invitation.

As a leader, it is one tool I use to support my staff through change, whether it be a change from “the district,” or change they are making in their practice on their own, the model is one that helps me keep things in perspective. In turn, I think I am a better coach (and sometimes straight up administrator) when I acknowledge where people fall on the continuum.

With apologies to Shirley Hord for any inaccuracies in my interpretation, I consider the model like this:

An adult learner who has no knowledge of a change initiative (for whatever reason) is considered at level 0 of the initiative. My job as a leader at this stage, is to provide information in a safe, non-threatening way in order to nudge people to the Informational stage (Level 1). At this point, individuals would like to know more about the initiative, but are not ready to try anything new. (Consider this the “handing-out-an-article,” stage of the work). At Level 2, individuals begin to wonder how the initiative will impact them, personally, and at Level 3 they are in a very mechanical stage of dealing with the “Stuff,” managing materials, getting things ready etc. (think about first year teachers and their many,many late nights getting “stuff,” ready).

So, they have been messing with the materials, managing the “Stuff” and suddenly they have found their way. Behold….Level 4! Consequence! At this level, individuals in the initiative find themselves beginning to reflect more on the impact of the initiative on their learners: How is my use affecting learners? How can I refine it to have more impact? These questions lead them to seek out others for that much needed collaboration and BAM, we are at Level 5 : Collaboration. (ok, if only there was BAM!). Does it get any better than that? You bet, because the final stage of concern is Level 6, the level of Refocusing. I know folks have hit this level when they come to me with ideas on how to make the initiative even better.

Knowing this, at what stage do you predict I was shooting for with the pilot teachers I invited? What characteristics was I looking for?