Work continues with my group - this week we spent time brainstorming the various ways technology could play a role in restorative justice programs within a school. We used the platform padlet to brainstorm and share our various ideas. While a solo approach to brainstorming, as it limited playing ideas off of each other, we did come up with some great ideas and were able to use technology to enhance some of the ideas that were shared in the padlet.
Once we had our ideas up, we picked four (4) as our most inspiring, rational, long shot and most likely to delight the end user. I selected two (2) of my own ideas for this portion of the week, and two (2) from my peers. Not only did we each select our top four (4), but shared rationale for those selections. We also talked through the possible constraints for the top idea. Once this was over, I was selected to represent the group and pick the top two (2) ideas and share the why behind those selections. Neither idea were my own, but are very powerful ideas that will ensure the use of technology within the school to help restorative justice initiatives.
This week's theme centered around brain storming and collaboration. I have used a similar process at Compass Charter Schools, through Workplace by Facebook. This is our Intranet, and very similar to Facebook (which makes it a familiar tool for our staff who were resistant to our last rendition of the Intranet). I routinely post collaboration ideas in several groups: Leadership Team, Staff Advisory Committee, and a few others. I have seen some great collaboration happen through this tool as our staff work remotely across the state.
Brain storming and collaboration go hand in hand, and with more voices sharing ideas, the end result becomes much more powerful. And not only is the end result powerful, the buy-in is equally powerful because those who participated know they were part of the end result. The ability to bounce ideas off of each other helps create a stronger end result. This is often lost on leadership and management, who fear opening the process to others within the organization. I take it a step further at times, and open the process to all of our stakeholders through surveys and focus groups. The end result, in education, needs to center on the scholar - the more voices that will help create the best result is what is important to me as a leader.
Speaking of not only engaging all of our stakeholders, but the use of technology as well. One of the missing links at times can be access to technology. In "Making Access Meaningful: Latino Young People Using Digital Media at Home and at School" by Lisa Tripp, she shared that there is a divide between those who have access to technology at home and those who need to go to public places to access technology. This severely limits those without technology to fully participate and be engaged, at no fault of there own. A recent French proposal would actually do away with homework due to similar disparities, and all the unique home life situations scholars are in. The French have found that to level the playing field, school needs to fully equip the scholar and ensure all of the resources are made available to them.
If we are to focus our efforts on technology, we have to ensure equity amongst our scholars to ensure a level educational field. Similar to justice being blind, education must be accessible.
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.