I recently had a discussion with my principal about creating a message board for staff to help start conversations among teachers. After the chat I was excited to develop a solution to provide a forum for teachers, but soon stop to think about the teachers at my school. Many are not yet really comfortable spending time on computers. More recently, at a staff meeting, I heard many teachers concerned about cell phone use in the classroom.
Overall, many teachers still lack a good understanding of how to implement technology into learning, both students and their own. Making a Powerpoint or Prezi presentation is innovative. The complain, "My students are always on Facebook!," rather than asking, "How can I use embrace Facebook as a tool in my classroom?" They struggle with the technology and how to educate students on appropriate use of it. Thus, leading to a distrust and avoidance of it.
I am all for educating teachers about how to use tech in the classroom and for professional development. (Many are missing out on the awesome forum that is the Teacher Guild.) Some teachers just aren't quite ready for the being open socially on something like the "public" Internet. Perhaps we could help them learn to be comfortable socially by sharing a not so widespread fashion. A cork bulletin board.
Most of us have a bulletin board in our classrooms or at least around the school. It is a familiar technology for all of us. Let's make use of them.
Bulletin boards in the schools I have been in have either display student work or post bulletins. What if they asked questions? Provide a bulletin board for staff to post questions, ideas, suggestions about our practice and how we can improve. It could be anonymous, which may encourage some reluctant people to share, and all staff to post without fear of repercussion. Ideally, we would be should be in a culture that encourage dissent, but many are uncomfortable saying anything negative publicly.
This type of forum might provide an opportunity for those that are still uncomfortable with technology for a forum to voice their concerns. These concerns would then be public rather than spoken in whispers away from administration. This all with the goals of making staff more comfortable with sharing and giving them a voice in the direction of development.