Everybody In The Pool! Ready or Not!

Today’s Contributor: Tracie DaSilva is the Technology & STEAM Lab Teacher and Campus Innovation Connector at Mills Elementary.

The above is actually a screenshot of the CIC blog post I created two years ago.   At the time I was trying to gently coerce my staff into the BLEND pool…slowly, bit by bit, a little at a time, no rush…take your time….I’ll guide you in….it’s OK…..the water’s fine!

Well, all that has changed – we all just got pushed right in, ready or not!!  Cannonball!!!

I feel blessed that I had already laid the groundwork for my staff and that (for the most part) there were not a lot of pitfalls and roadblocks along the way.   At least they all knew who to ask for help.  Since beginning the ‘at-home’ part of my job, I have spent a very large amount of time stationary, on my softer end, answering email after email with as many step by step instructions as I could to help my staff distantly.   I was so used to just jumping up from my computer and showing up at the teacher’s classroom and pointing to where they needed to click, or side-by-side walk-throughs on how to do something in BLEND….now it’s screenshots and how-to videos….and ten extra pounds from not being mobile.   (I went from 10,000 steps before noon to 3,000 steps before bed.)  

To really help as many as I could, I began a simple Google document of some of the things that I was asked about the most.   It started with just two pages – keeping your Chrome browser updated, and how to prevent cross-login issues with shared home devices.    Every time I received an email that asked a question I had already answered to someone else, I added it to the doc and started calling it ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and at first it was still mostly about technology in general.   Then it started to grow…..and grow and grow and grow!   There were more questions about district digital resource logins, more questions about how parents could access things versus students accessing things, and especially more questions about how to do things in BLEND.

To date, it is up to 30 pages of how-to content with almost 40 different topics from several contributors, and has been shared across at least 20 campuses in our district.  I like to compare it to a sloppily frosted cake – I fully admit that it looks like a bit of a mess….but the contents are delicious!   I am happy to share a slice with you.  Enjoy!


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