The Making of a Newsletter
Sharing is caring
I work as an interventionist on my school campus, but I was also given a chance to share my expertise in digital learning this year. Over the summer, I thought of ways that I could share information on new educational technology and provide resources and support for those using technology in their classrooms. A newsletter was the best solution for providing on demand information faculty and staff could look through at their convenience.
A format that works
As a classroom teacher, I combined technology and flipped lessons into my classes daily. It made sense that I would provide information in my newsletter in a similar fashion. We are a Microsoft district, so I chose Sway in the Office 365 suite as my platform because it is easy to create and share. I envisioned a newsletter that I would share monthly, and that would contain no more than five resources and tutorials. My thought was to share relevant pieces of information, but not to overwhelm with too much at once. I also planned to share the archived editions at the bottom of each month's newsletter so readers could go back and find things they needed. The first newsletter was a combination of flipped tutorials and resources to start the school year. I sent it out in an email during our summer staff development days. I expected a few people to delete or ignore it, but to my surprise many did not even open the email.
You can lead a horse to water...
I am about to start on the fourth edition of my newsletter, and I wish I could say that many are reading and using the resources and tips I laid out for them, but there are just a few that look at my newsletter. After the first newsletter, I decided to change things up a bit. I was sharing information about Nearpod, so I decided to make the newsletter into a Nearpod. This was an immersive teacher experience, where they could experience Nearpod as the students would, and included how-to videos for everything I used in the Nearpod. This felt like a homerun for me, but as of today only six staff members have interacted with the Nearpod. I am left asking myself, what could I do differently to get more of my faculty interested in the resources I am offering? My newsletter is not part of staff development, so it is not required reading. My newsletter also has not been marketed to the staff by my administration. This is part of the reason very few people on my campus look at it. My district went 1:1 on technology a year ago, and yet I still see many worksheets and PowerPoints instead of interactive and well-developed blended lessons. I see a need for the information and resources I am offering, but some faculty do not want to access it.
Back to the drawing board
I am not a quitter and so I am looking into alternative ways to share educational technology tools with my faculty and staff. I have a few ideas that I'm looking into including a hybrid podcast/newsletter format, as well as a more engaging infographic format. This has been a learning experience for me, and I will continue to work towards my goal of sharing great educational technology tools.
This blog includes posts about education and digital learning and I will update frequently so check back often for new posts!