It's no secret that teachers learn much of what they know about technology integration from watching other teachers. But when teachers are isolated in their own room for much of the day, how do they get the opportunities to see the meaningful way their peers are using technology in the classroom?
That's where Pineapple Charts and #ObserveMe can help shift the collaborative culture of teachers within a school.
In Hawaii, a pineapple on the door is a symbol of hospitality, warmth, and welcome. From this symbolism, the idea of Pineapple Charts was created. This school-wide system provides the opportunity for teachers to invite one another into their classrooms for informal observation, as a way to share ideas. On this weekly chart, teachers list activities and lessons they would like others to see. The chart is then placed in locations where teachers visit on a regular basis (lounge, office, work room, bathrooms, etc.). If a teacher sees a lesson or activity of interest, he or she visits the classroom at the indicated time and watches... no note taking, conferences, forms, write-ups, or time limits are required. The teacher just watches, learns, and gathers new ideas.
Pineapple charts can be a great way for teachers to see new technology in action. You might consider inviting others in to your room to see:
Robert Kaplinsky, an educational consultant and trainer, was increasingly concerned that teachers work in isolated environments, not often seeking feedback or ways to openly share successes. This concern inspired him to create a call to action to increase the collaborative nature of teachers in schools. His idea? Post a sign outside of your classroom to invite other teachers in to see what you are doing. On this form, share a few areas for which you would like feedback. He also recommended providing an observational tool, such as the Jeffco Teacher Rubric, to make it easier for observers to provide feedback. Adding a QR code or shortened URL that connects observers to a Google Form is an excellent way to seek, collect, and analyze data.
But how does this connect back to technology in the classroom? Consider seeking feedback on your use of technology in the classroom!
For more information check out these blogs: