Friday, June 10, 2011

Wicked Problem Project - Part D

My Wicked Problem Project unfortunately did not get implemented as planned, largely due to the amount of time left to do so. I did (or thought I did) all the background work on my end to get it set up (including uploading the document, changing the formatting (MS Word to Google docs does create some formatting differences) and setting up time in the computer lab to show my team members through the process of creating accounts and editing the document for the first time. However, we ran into some major road blocks, the most major of that being that the log in/create your own account portion of Google docs is blocked at my school. (Alternate email sources other than Groupwise are currently blocked.)

Next year, it is my plan to ask for this to be unblocked for teachers (and perhaps for students) so that we can implement this more readily. It will also be crucial since our team planning time has been taken away this year due to budget cuts.

Due to the fact that I was not able to fully implement my project, the greatest success I had was the enthusiasm of the people I was planning to share this with. They were very excited to streamline a process that we already complete, and allow everyone to take a more active role in the editing process.

I think that once I work out the kinks of the blocked content, I will be able to find these successes easy to come by (with guidance and proper training of the people using it).

I would approach this project differently next time by trying the technology both at home and at school before I plan to implement it with others. So often, different programs and settings do not allow for the same things to happen in both locations. It many times takes days, even weeks to get all the necessary “blocked” portions unblocked. It will also be different when I go to a Mac computer next year, having been a PC user before. This might make the transition easier however, since Google docs is online and there is no difference between the Mac and PC interface. I definitely learned the age old technology lesson of “try it before you need it”. Others should abide by this always!

I will definitely try to do this project again next year. Not only will I try to use Google docs for team agendas, but I plan to use it with my curriculum partner (the other 6th grade science teacher) to revise lesson plans and create materials for students, rather than emailing different versions back and forth.


  1. As I said in the last post, I think it's a great idea and I'm glad you're going to try it again next year when you have more technical support! I've used Google Docs with my PLC partner as well and it's been a great way to update our plans and document our planning time. Good luck with this next year!

  2. I am very impressed with your positive outlook (even when you had so many road blocks)! I am curious how long it takes for the district to stop "blocking" certain websites for your school. Are you planning to look into this now so that it would be ready by next school year?

    I think it is also encouraging that your teammates seem so eager to use the programs. Keep up the good work and good luck with setting up next year!

  3. I'm so glad that you are going forward with this as I definitely see it streamlining your work!

    I think that that is great advice that you try it before you implement it! I tried to just implement the survey and quickly found many problems including blocked sites and administrators who didn't appreciate a mass survey sent out to the entire school without their consent, oops.

    I hope you will come back and update your blog in the fall so that we can check back in to see how well this ended up working out for you. And I'm really glad you and your team still had so much enthusiasm even after all of the frustration!