For the 5th Wednesday in a row now I have sent out what I call Wacky Wednesdays Websites (WWW). This is basically an e-mail to teachers explaining some sort of tech tip and a couple web sites I feel might be interesting to them.
I started by only sending the WWW to the grade level teachers I taught, word got out and now WWW is sent to over 50 people in my district every Wednesday.
I have heard and read others say they do not feel this is a good way to communicate technology to staff. I think it has to do with what you are trying to accomplish with the e-mail. I have found that the staff respond very positively to the e-mails, because its not forced upon them. Teachers can either read and try the tech tip and look at the sites I recommend, or they can delete the message. Teachers tell me they feel free to explore the web sites and the tech tip on their own with out feeling pressured to have to do it.
Is it a replacement for true Tech PD? No. But it is a way to get people talking about technology. People will pass me in the hall and say how much they enjoyed this tip or that web site. Today Ive had two different people come to my room to ask about how to do things in Word that was sparked by a tech tip.
Were not talking Web 2.0 here, but we are talking about building skills in teachers and getting the language of technology flowing around the school. From there we can build on the discussions and start looking at ways of bringing more technology into the classroom. Communication is the key, and if an e-mail every Wednesday is what it take to get people thinking technology, then it is worth my time each week to put it together.