What Do We Mean By Learning Anyway?

A Connected Educator Month 2015 Event starting on October 1st!

Join Brenda Sherry and Peter Skillen in a collective, month long, discussion to:Cloud Computing Small text

  • extend and deepen our understanding of the term learning
  • participate in a knowledge building approach to collaboration
  • model deep practices for our professional learning environments (colleagues and/or classrooms)

Brief Description (see full site for details)

We will spend the month exploring, unpacking, and discussing what we mean by the term learning. This will include:

  • building background knowledge through sharing and reading resources related to the topic
  • introductory Twitter Chat
  • co-creation of a slidedeck of our ideas
  • reflective Twitter chat
  • contemplative rewriting of our slides
  • culminating creation of reflection statementsVector illustration of two communicating people

We will use a knowledge-building approach to this event.

“If Knowledge building had to be described in a single sentence, it would be: ‘giving students collective responsibility for idea improvement‘.  In Knowledge Building, students work together as a community to build and improve explanations of problems of understanding that arise from the group itself.” (We will be the students in this project!)

So please join us! Go to What Do We Mean By Learning Anyway? for all the details to get started!


Peter Skillen & Brenda Sherry with the support of OSSEMOOC

Twitter for Absolute Beginners Starts Today

Do you know someone who wants to learn about Twitter but can’t find the time?

For the next three weeks, OSSEMOOC is curating resources on getting started with Twitter, and offering a MOOC-style opportunity to learn on your own time, and at your own pace, how to get started learning on Twitter.

The course home page is here: https://twitterforabsolutebeginners.wordpress.com/ and if you want to receive information by email, please register with your email account here (scroll down).

Please share this with colleagues who might not yet be online and who might want to learn with us.

Fall OSSEMOOC Courses

As we settle into the 2015-2016 school year, the shift to connected and digital leadership,  collaboration for learning, and the importance of sharing have been emphasized at many levels in the Ontario school system, including #summerinstitute15, #fallsimk12, #fallsim15 and LearnTeachLead.org.

Many educators have expressed the need for direct instruction on how to access and leverage social media for professional learning.  In response, OSSEMOOC is offering a series of courses this fall to support Ontario educators (all others are welcome as well) in their efforts to learn how to use social media in their work.

Courses will consist of synchronous online instruction (recorded), instructional videos, screencasts and collaborative projects.  As always, we suggest that you find someone with experience on Twitter to act as a face-to-face mentor for your learning in the courses (if possible).

Course Offerings

Twitter for Absolute Beginners

This 3-week course is for educators who want to learn to access the infinite opportunities for professional learning on Twitter, but who have never learned how to find the learning that meets their needs.

Week 1: Using Twitter as a Library: How to Access Information (no Twitter account required)

Week 2: Creating a Twitter Account: How to Create a Positive Professional Online Presence on Twitter

Week 3: The Anatomy of a Tweet: Understanding the Language of Twitter

September 28 to October 16, 2015

November 9 to November 27, 2015


Twitter for Self-Directed Professional Learning

This 3-week course is for educators who have a Twitter account, but who feel unsure about how to use it for professional learning.  A Twitter Account is required for this course.

Week 1: Building your Online Professional Learning Network

Week 2: Tweeting

Week 3: Curating Online Content

October 19 to November 6, 2015


Twitter for Education Leaders

This 3-week course is for school and system leaders who want to leverage the power of Twitter to enhance communications between the school, the board and the community.

Week 1: Building Your Understanding of the Power of Social Media

Week 2: Building a Positive Digital Footprint

Week 3: Building Your Audience

November 9 to November 27, 2015


Leveraging Twitter for Rich Professional Learning

This course is for educators who have spent some time on Twitter, but who want to refine their understanding of social media for professional learning.  This course is ideal for educators who have a Twitter account and who use Twitter now and then, but don’t make use of social media on a daily basis.

Week 1: Building and Refining your Professional Learning Network (PLN)

Week 2: Twitter Tools for Learning

Week 3: Twitter chats and conversations

January 11 to January 29 (2016)


Registration is free and there is no obligation to participate if you change your mind or your schedule does not allow you to be involved.

The courses are based on the Constructivist MOOC approach.  A number of learning opportunities will be organized for you.  As a professional learner, you access the opportunities you need for your professional learning.  We will support your learning.  Success in a MOOC is often enhanced when educators learn as a group, so encourage your colleagues to register and learn with you.

Register for courses here:

A course calendar will be sent to you by email one week prior to the start of your course.

All course materials and learning opportunities will be completely open and advertised on the OSSEMOOC site for any participants.

We look forward to learning with you!


Connected Leadership for the 2015-2016 School Year

As you think about your role as a leader during the 2015-2016 school year, you know that being connected is an important part of your work.  A simple first step to connecting with other leaders around the province and around the world is learning to leverage social media for professional learning.

Educators learn and share together on Twitter.

Update: CBC’s interview on why principals and teacher must be on social media

OSSEMOOC is an open support system for leaders to learn to connect and self-direct their professional learning.  A perfect starting point is to get connected on Twitter.

If you are uneasy about getting on social media, here are some steps you can take to access professional learning anonymously.  This is a great starting point for beginners.

On May 5, 2015, we shared how you can use Twitter as a public library.  Read the full post and access all the resources here or start with just the short screencast below.

Once you are ready to be a participant on Twitter, this resource will help you get started.

This short screencast shows you what you will learn.

Check the OSSEMOOC site daily for more support in becoming a connected leader in 2015-2106.

What’s Out There? Resources to Support the Work of K-12 Educators in Ontario

On August 17 and 18, 2015, CPCO, OPC and ADFO are hosting Technology Enabled Learning and Leading Institute 2015.  School leaders from across the province are invited to attend and learn with lead learners in technology education and innovation.

We are partnering with Joe Russo, Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact for Toronto Catholic District School Board to share with leaders the array of supports and resources available to them as they lead learning with technology.

Joe has generously created and shared a Mindomo mind map to organize a number of the resources.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 6.36.02 AM

Our most valuable resource in our work as lead learners is our Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact.  The Ontario Ministry of Education funds this position in every Ontario School Board.  TELTs are provided with rich professional learning opportunities so that they are able to lead the learning in their school boards.

In addition to the resources organized in the mind map (above), OSAPAC organizes access to numerous resources on its webpage.  There is a brief tour of new resources here, including Digital Citizenship and SAMR.

Of course OSSEMOOC is an ongoing community providing peer support and resources to lead learners in Ontario.  We invite you to explore the  Ontario Educator blogs, accessed through links on both sides of the page.  Check out our supports for getting connected in “10 minutes a day” mini-lessons on the right side.  Join OSSEMOOC for regular email updates, and to have your blog posted on the site.  Contribute ideas for topics of study or volunteer to lead a study group in 2015-2016.  This is your community for learning and sharing.

What will be your next step as you move forward in your learning? Help us build a collaborative video to share Ontario’s NEXT!  This video will be presented at the 2015 K12 Online conference.  Don’t miss out!

Resources from the presentation today:

How do I sign up for Mindomo? (screencast)

How do educators get free 24/7 help with the VLE? Coursehelp.ca by Tim Robinson

How do students get free 24/7 help with the VLE? Coursehelp.me by Tim Robinson

#ontedleaders it’s #summerlearning time!

Welcome to #OSSEMOOC!

We are taking a bit of a break from the open learning side of @OSSEMOOC over the summer to plan some great learning for next year.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 8.30.51 PM

In the meantime, we have our 10 minutes a day to get connected series on the right side of this page.  Check out the learning opportunities there.  We have links to lots of great blogs for your reading and learning pleasure on the right and left of this page.

Please sign up to get regular email updates about our learning opportunities.  Please suggest things you want to learn about next year.  Follow the blog to get regular updates when this page changes, and use the #ossemooc and #ontedleaders hashtags to share thinking, resources and conversations on Twitter.

Would you like to be part of a planning group for a topic next year?  Email us (ossemooc at gmail dot com) if you are interested in organizing some open free online learning events for leaders around some topics like Social Media for Leaders and What Principals Want to Know about Makerspaces.

We look forward to learning with you next year!


Hey Ontario, What’s Your Next? [A Collaborative Video Project]

“The whole world is watching to see what Ontario does next.”

Simon Breakspear, Ontario Leadership Congress, April 2015

So we are asking, what’s your next?

What will you learn? What will you read? What will you create?

Pack your thinking into a 15 to 20 second video clip.  We’ll put the clips together into a final product where we show the world what our next will be, on a very practical, “this is what it looks like” scale.

This is a peek into the “HOW” of implementation – how people leading on the front line are making change in their day to day work.

This is about the next choice you plan to make to improve your practice.

We practiced creating a collaborative video  back in May under the expert guidance of Darren Kuropatwa and Alan Levine.  Here is the final product we created together in just over an hour:

Your video clip can include an object, your image, a screenshot, a screencast or a combination of all of these.  Briefly explain your next step in your professional learning.  Please stick to the 15 to 20 second limit so that we can share 3 to 4 examples per minute.

Please be sure that the audio is loud and clear!  Remember that if you are using an iPhone, you want the phone to be in “landscape” orientation (turn it on its side) when you record the video.

Email the video file as an attachment to ossemooc_1c02@sendtodropbox.com.  Please put your name in the subject line of the submission so that we can credit you in the final product.

Please get your clips into the dropbox before August 30.


The final product will be licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike License. It will be posted on YouTube and shared on the OSSEMOOC site.  It has been submitted as a presentation proposal to the K12 Online Conference 2015. Personal identification will be by credit only at the end of the video.

Learning Connection Session Resources

Thanks again to Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) for an informative and inspiring session on leveraging social media for learning, connections and community. Here are the resources from the session:

1. Session Recording

2. Podcast – to be added

3. Slidedeck via slideshare.

4. Class Daily Shoot.

5. A story about literacy centres.

6. 105 The Hive – student led internet radio

7. Bloggers cafe with livescribe.

8. Ideas for parent engagement.

9. Digital Citizenship survival kit

Happy learning!


Learning Connections

On June 2,   Aviva Dunsiger  (@avivaloca)  joins us at  8:00 EDT  to share her journey in engaging students and parents through social media to maximize her classroom learning community opportunities  and deepen the experiences.

Join the online presentation and collaboration space any time after 7:30 p.m. EDT by clicking [here].

Alternatively, you may join the internet radio broadcast.

We look forward to your participation.



May 24, 2015: Curating with Pinterest

Curation is an important component of digital literacy.  Please join us on Tuesday, May 26 at 8 p.m. EDT to learn more.

Did you know that using Pinterest is a form of curation?

If you have never used Pinterest, our 30 days of getting connected has a lesson just for you: Day 10: Pinterest is for more than just crafts and recipes!

If you are on Pinterest, try some of the links we have provided on that site, as demonstrated below.


Challenge: What Pinterest boards can you create to share valuable information with your colleagues? Share the links on #OSSEMOOC!

Connecting to Learn


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