Yesterday, I created and co-led a twenty-minute PD session for my school on (drum roll, please) the care of laptop carts, because we had just purchased a brand new one for our school (yay, tech budget!). I stole...er...adapted a PowerPoint presentation to fit the needs of our staff.
I started the session by having teachers "examine" the cart for any safety issues or concerns (I left the doors open, pulled out trays, and had hidden a few computers). They caught on quickly, which led us into a discussion about the importance of setting routines and procedures surrounding the use of technology.
As I explained the need of keeping the cart plugged in and charging, I bent down and grabbed the retractable power cord and spoke briefly about how the cord stopper worked to adjust cord length so that it wouldn't whip back under the cart. I was trying to emphasize a point and began to apologize for the basic information, when I noticed that some people were looking at me in outright amazement. Many had never known how the retractable cord had worked.
While this scenario might seem outrageous, there is no fault or blame here. These teachers had simply never been trained to deal with the basics of a laptop cart. For me, this was great validation as to why we, as teachers, should take nothing for granted. Be explicit, model desired outcomes, and, for the love of all that is holy, teach people how to deal with a retractable power cord. Just because you know it, doesn't mean everyone does, and while it might seem basic to some, it could be awesome to others (a great reminder for the classroom, too!). We need to support and lift each other up, not condemn for what we believe to be weakness or inability.
Needless to say, I didn't get to the PowerPoint presentation.