Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Make it stop watching me

I know it sounds crazy, but the newly-installed web cam makes me nervous. It's part of (yet) another technology that I volunteered to try.  And I can't seem to get past...well, doing nothing.

The idea is to provide brief, self-contained educational or informative content (aka lessons) that can be posted to a learning management system, with the option to access the content via a mobile phone.  It gives a whole new meaning to Miles2go, assuming I actually take that first step.  I have everything I need.  The software is installed on my computer, courtesy of the awesome (and they know I mean it) technology staff; the hardware (did I mention the evil eye?) is installed, courtesy of the same group.  I have a plan.  I have content developed and ready to try.  And, as of two days ago, I have a nice "are you doing okay with the new technology?" email waiting patiently for my response.  The only thing missing is my ability to take that first step and be willing to fail.

Make no mistake, my first effort will be less than perfect.  And that's the rub.  Playing to my strengths of my strengths.  I know the 2.5 things I do well and this will not be one of them, simply because it's new.  Despite being a teacher to my core, I still have tendencies to avoid things I suspect I will not do well.  With years of validation that focused practice is a key to doing well, the high standards I tend to set for myself still make it hard for me to fail...which means those same standards can make it hard for me to learn.

As I've written before, being forced to walk in student shoes is sometimes painful. Even with reminders that the only thing to fear is fear itself (and I do know Franklin D. Roosevelt had far weightier matters in mind), I am still hesitating.  So, akin to whistling in the graveyard, I am writing to force myself to act.  Rather than respond to the email from the technology staff (the gentle reminder from those who know that I've done nothing) with another email, I will use the new technology to record my first lesson, complete with narration of screen shots and a verbal reply that I've just taken the first step.  

I can't teach with this technology until I learn it.  I can't become proficient unless I'm willing to fail.

Even the most focused people (and, no, I'm not on that list) sometimes need external motivators.  My external motivator is giving me the evil eye...and it doesn't blink.


  1. You'll do great! I'm always finding myself 50% terrified of trying something new (because I KNOW I will fail the first time around). The rest of the 50% takes place later, when I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to try it (because I find out that after 46432 failed attempts, the 46433rd attempt is totally, utterly awesome).

  2. You've been my role model...many times!

  3. and 2 weeks later, how's it going with the eye?? :)

  4. I did my homework and found a way to minimize the intimidation factor...just put the 3x5 cards with student names on my bulletin board behind the like a charm!


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