Piloting; AKA Entering the Fishbowl

Being the first is never easy. Trying new things might be a bit uncomfortable and certainly shines a spotlight on those who step into the cockpit and fly first. I totally get feeling uneasy and reluctant to volunteer. I do! Even those of us who like to try new things get nervous. After all, the view from the outside of the fishbowl is the prettiest, right? Who wants to be the poor goldfish stuck in the tank with 4-5 toddler fishes tapping on the class, while all the giant adults circle around the outside of the tank sharing their opinions on how the habitat can best be improved?

Without pilots, there is no progress. To make seamless programs we have to enlist the assistance of those brave souls who are willing to go before the rest. Instead of focusing on being the first, members of a pilot need to realize that they are in a position to advocate, shape, and create policies and procedures that will pave the way for others. Pilot members should feel comfortable and empowered to share their voice with other stakeholders and not feel like a fish just floating in a pool. These willing teachers are the focal point and center of an implementation and should feel some freedom and artistic license to take chances, explore, and fail forward so the entire learning community can learn from their experiences.

Currently, our building is offering 1:1 chromebook pilots. I am hopeful that our teachers are eyeing up the potential of having a device in their classroom for every student that walks through the door. How will this change classroom instruction? What will our students be able to do that they weren’t able to do before having a device available for every member of the class? How will teachers organize the collection, usage, and maintenance of these devices? How can the instructional technology coach assist teachers in leveraging these devices to ensure we are allowing every student, every day to master their learning while embracing the 4C’s; communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity?

I encourage all educators to consider participating in pilots, regardless of their level of comfort and expertise in the area of the pilot. If only the “experts” on a subject pilot, there is no real learning to be done and the point of a pilot is to learn and smooth out the run way for the next group to go boldly beyond. Stepping outside of our comfort zone and being the first is never easy, but it is a very rewarding experience for all.


About bulldogtechteach

I am a technology integrator serving in a k-1 and a 2-5 elementary building. I firmly believe in the power of technology to engage students and allow them to create and master their learning.
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1 Response to Piloting; AKA Entering the Fishbowl

  1. Great points! If I were in your school, I would jump on that pilot immediately. Exactly like you said, pilots allow the participants to fail in a no-stakes scenario. They’re not expected to be experts, and any progress at all will be viewed as successful. I think you should definitely encourage those teachers who would be hesitant about it to consider participating, because as you stated, the district won’t have a good sense of how it works unless folks from all along the tech-use spectrum participate. Sometimes those who are hesitant just need a tap on the shoulder and a guarantee of support 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how this goes for you!

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