Over the weekend, I drove by a business sign that proclaimed: Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.
Wow. That sums up the beginning of my school year with 50+ new machines and just about everyone upgraded to the latest operating system.
I fully admit that it has not been a smooth transition.
The new iMacs in the classrooms do not have CD/DVD Drives, causing massive amounts of stress. Over the last few years, a lot of curriculum resources have been purchased that require such devices. Does this now mean we will go with more online subscriptions? Presently, no. External drives have been installed, but it certainly has made us think. Do we need to change? Where should we be heading? Lots of stake holders need to be involved in these decisions.
Another example is the Everyday Math software that allows teachers to access the student resource book no longer works due to the operating system upgrade. It seems that the company is not making an upgraded software either. Again, online subscription? For the moment, teachers who project the computerized book pages will need to use their IPEVO cameras to display the pages for students on white boards. (I’m thankful that IPEVO did upgrade its software!)
And that brings me to resolution and mounted projectors. Oh, boy, who knew how much we loved the display shortcut icon at the top of our screens to turn on and off mirroring. Going in and out of System Preferences and adjusting the size of a screen seems like small stuff, but if you have a room full of elementary kids watching your every move and suddenly everything is a HUGE 800 X 600 on your screen, and it’s hard to navigate around your web browser- well, there goes the flow of that lesson! I found an app called Display Menu that will put that nice little icon back at the top of desktops, but it certainly has its learning curves with order of operation. (I’m hoping that I will have some tips for teachers this week as I continue getting used to it.)
Of course, just when you think you know something… I had a PowerPoint presentation going in the lab and presenter view was showing on the computer. I wanted to use the pen mode which requires the monitor and projected image to be the same. Apparently, in Office 2011 for Mac, that pesky mirroring option has moved, and I couldn’t fix it on the fly. Later, after Googling my exasperation, presto- I found where the new button is. I also discovered a whole new slew of options in PowerPoint. (The wheels have started to turn…)
Yes, this all might sound petty to some people, and I don’t want this post to sound like I’m complaining about our new computers (and Office 2011). I’m very grateful for the upgrade and everything that we have at our school. However, I hadn’t realized how comfortable I (we) had become. It’s made me think about how much I liked the old ways and how change can be uncomfortable, time consuming and very often just plain annoying.
For the moment there needs to be a slow moving period to keep some sanity (and cries of mutiny at bay). Yet, as last week is turning into a blur, I’m focusing more on the opportunities we have been handed. Time to start thinking of these changes as a catalyst for inspiration and, ultimately, growth.