Keep an Open Drive



I know the title of this blog post ironic. What type of “drive” am I talking about? Actually, this post is more about my fixed mindset. I tell people all the time to keep an open mind, and I get frustrated when I think they are being close minded or “fixed” in their decision making. I’ll admit it… when it came to Microsoft/Bing/One Drive I had made up my mind before I ever even tried it.


Over the last few years I have been hearing (and seeing) all of the really cutting edge innovations from schools using various platforms. Mac districts, Google Districts, it seemed like they were having all the connections. I was using Google in my professional world, and even used Google Docs to write a book with two colleagues that are across the country! Yet, my district decided to go with Microsoft and One Drive. I wasn’t really happy.  So what do you do in this type of situation? For me, I had to do some inner reflection. Here are some of my reflections:

  • Am I being open or fixed mindset about this?
  • Am I modeling what I want my teachers and students to do when presented with a new program or idea?
  • Is there something for me to learn that I am not seeing?
Teachers in PLCs using One Drive to analyze data and record minutes

Teachers in PLCs using One Drive to analyze data and record minutes

In September, I decided that I would give the One Drive a try. I can’t do anything half way and I jumped in with two feet and started to learn everything I could about One Drive. At one of our early staff meetings, I admitted to everyone that I was changing my approach. I would be enhancing our PLC’s and meetings with the One Drive. I admitted that I was going to learn along with everyone. I made a prediction that we could transform our classrooms using this technology (if we were willing to keep an open mind)!


It didn’t stop there. I explored the features more and made a few Excel Forms to collect information from staff. My first Form was for our Genius Hour. I set it up in a way that would help every manage their project for the year. I made another Form to collect ideas from staff about our before/after school clubs. Now, all of our staff meeting information is on One Drive, and is accessible to the entire staff. We can keep all the notes, minutes and resources in “one” space. This adds to the transparency, collaboration and communication that is so vital to our school.


one drive 2

Keep an Open Drive

In a few short weeks, we have begun to see the power of the One Drive. Teachers are now exploring how they can collaborate with each other using the One Drive. They are seeking ways to integrate it into the classroom to enhance the student experience. In addition, I learned a few things about students and their willingness to learn something despite the platform. Kids in our school are doing similar things that their peers are doing with the other platforms. They are sharing documents, editing peer work, creating presentations, and working collaboratively.


The best part of all this is that now I know two platforms. I think there are positive aspects to each, and I really think (no matter the platform) that students and teachers benefit from these tools. I look forward to sharing more about my journey this year with the One Drive.


What do you think?

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4 thoughts on “Keep an Open Drive

  1. I love your commitment to squelching the tendency to have a fixed mindset when it comes to new technology. I find myself in this same spot often. Really taking the time to find out the positives in something new without automatically assuming what we’re currently doing is better can be very difficult! Thank you for your great example of a positive growth mindset! Sincerely, Melinda Myers Elementary Principal

  2. So can you do anything with One Drive that you can’t do with Google Drive? Do you find it to be as intuitive? I think it’s noble that you approached its use with an open mind. Wondering how such a decision for adoption was made – by your tech leadership? With or without teacher and admin input? Thankfully although our tech director seems to be most comfortable in the land of Microsoft, we are also a GAFE district so we can enjoy its features. I know many secondary folks are taking advantage of One Drive. A one-size-fits-all approach to tech adoption can be easier to manage in some regards, yet can stifle autonomous learning. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Lyn
      Awesome questions. It is not as intuitive, and there a lot of features where I feel I could use more assistance. As for the adoption of the platform, that was a district decision. Honestly, I am not sure what process was put in place for adoption. I would love to hear more about how you are having both platforms in the same district?

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