About Solutions

There can always be a reason that we can’t do something. Maybe we’re lacking the tools to do what we want or we don’t have enough time or the space is an issue or we feel that we’re lacking the skill to do a good job. As a teacher, I have contemplated many of these problems before … but when possible, I like to look beyond the problems and consider solutions. What can I do?

This week has reminded me of the problem/solution dichotomy. Since coming back from Minds on Media and ECOO last weekend, I have been eager to get my students on the radio station, 105 the Hive. I thought that our regular Thinking Thursday would make for a great radio program, and Andy (@aforgrave) and Heather (@hdurnin) quickly helped me coordinate our first radio show.

Everything was great except for one problem: I couldn’t access the Internet radio station at school. Welcome to the world of filters! 🙂 I tried all of the different streaming options, but nothing worked! Yesterday, I contacted the Board Help Desk, and the people there responded quickly, but there was still the trouble-shooting part of the call. I even downloaded another iPad app, Tune In Radio, and I was hopeful that this one would work. When I got to school early this morning though, I was still getting the same error message. Ahh!!

At this point, I messaged Heather and Andy on Twitter, and I told them that we wouldn’t be able to record our show live today. I apologized profusely, but what could I do? Times like these remind me of why I love Twitter. Within minutes, Heather and Andy both tweeted me back about recording the show and sending it to them via Dropbox, so that they could at least add it to the radio this weekend. Yeah, a solution!

Then I checked my direct messages, and Andy had written me. He had another idea. Andy thought that I could use Skype to call him this morning, and then he could stream our Skype call through the radio on his end. Here’s this educator that I have only met in person a handful of times that lives hours away from us in Belleville, Ontario, but he’s offering to help make our radio debut a reality! I cannot thank him enough! This is another great example of someone that focuses on the solution instead of the problem!

With this plan in the works, I went into the computer lab where I was going to be running the radio show, and got my laptop ready for Skype. To hopefully help avoid bandwidth issues, I decided to get myself plugged into the network, and then Andy and I did a practice Skype call just to ensure that everything would work as planned. Yippee!! This was actually going to happen!

At 10:00 today, I had my three radio talk show hosts — Sydney, Ethan, and Sam — ready to record their first call. The other students were spread out around the room on computers, laptops, iPod Touches, iPads, and even iPhones, and I was standing with my iPad in hand ready to oversee the Twitter backchannel and the Today’sMeet Room, both full of questions for our student hosts. With the use of the backchannel, all students in the class were actively involved in this literacy discussion. Students were working on reading, writing, and oral language skills, and still had a lot of fun as well!

Below you can hear a recording of most of the radio show. You can also see a transcript of our Today’s Meet discussion and a Storify story of our tweets.

Recording Of The Radio Show – There’s a small sound problem at the beginning, but it resolves itself quickly.

On the theme of solutions, a wonderful person from Computer Services also came by the school this afternoon, and helped solve the radio streaming issues. Now we can stream from the school, and we will definitely continue to host radio shows from here in the future. Thanks again to all of the wonderful people that reminded me about the importance of looking for solutions, instead of focusing on problems. Today was definitely a great day because of this!

What stories can you share about this problem/solution dichotomy? What is your approach to problem solving? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!


3 thoughts on “About Solutions

  1. Aviva:

    The bunch of you – kids, teachers, tech people are all my heros. Colin Jagoe tweeted me this morning on my prep to see if I wanted to try this with my kids. I had seen your tweets last night, and thought – wow, that’s such a cool idea. I’m going to bounce the idea around to my classes, and see who might want to share what we do in an AIM Core French class at our school. What amazed me is the connections you have made in your PLN, who helped make this happen for you and your students…and how great was it that your students got to see the transparency of trying to make that cool event happen, and see the obstacles along the way, and how you got over them.
    My students and I are getting better at this, together. Sometimes, I just have to say “okay, this isn’t going to work today. Let’s go to Plan B, and we’ll try Plan A again tomorrow”. I think it’s crucially important that they see that we don’t have all the answers.

    This was a big “wow” for me, and I’m looking forward to hearing the show.

  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Lisa! It’s very true: seeing the struggle is important for students. It makes them realize the need to problem solve, and it helps make them a part of the solution. All of the students have seen my struggle throughout this week, but they also saw the wonderful people like Andy, Heather, and our Board Computer Service technicians, that made today a reality. We all need friends. 🙂

    I hope that you’ll give this radio show a try, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  3. Pingback: For More Than Just Recording : Live Learning with Livescribe

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