It’s About the Spread: Sharing Teacher Thinking

At last year’s 21C Roundtable, there were many conversations about how to spread “best practice” around the province.

Over the past year, speakers such as Pak Tee Ng and Simon Breakspear have emphasized that learning is contextual, and a “best practice” in one setting might not translate well into another setting, but educators can adapt and adopt the ideas of others to suit their environment.

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One great way to spread “best practice” is to have educators share their work and their thinking openly on their blog.

Today we highlight the writing of Jamie Reaburn Weir, as she documents her thinking about her work.

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While I read Jamie’s blog faithfully, I was particularly drawn to her post entitled “Team Teaching“. It’s a powerful post, in that Jamie reflects on her own state of mind during this busy time, her conversations with her colleague, Andrew Bieronski, and his visit to her classroom.  But the real gem is the documentation of the student voice after the visit, and Jamie’s reflections on how team teaching might change the learning opportunities for her students.

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As leaders, how can we enable, encourage and nurture this type of open practice (team teaching, deep conversations about learning, and blogging/sharing openly)?

Take a moment to comment on one of Jamie’s rich posts, and consider how her work can inform the work of other educators in 2016.


Day 15: Encouraging our Writers, Nurturing Those Who Share

Today is Day 15.  If you are just starting today, please feel free to work on this session, or to begin on Day 1.

If there is no sharing, there is no learning.

Bloggers take time to share.  They make their learning and thinking open and searchable.  Taking time to read educator blogs helps you to learn from practitioners and to challenge your understanding of best practice.

How do you nurture those who model sharing and connected learning?

Take a moment to thank a blogger, to comment on a connection, to extend their thinking or to share a related story.  Let them know you care.

Today we look at the process of learning to comment on blogs.

This will be our last group session on 30 Days of Connected Leadership for 2015.  We will return to this work in January.

We will now highlight Ontario Education Bloggers on the OSSEMOOC site, and continue the learning on Twitter for Absolute Beginners, and Twitter for Education Leaders.





Day 14: All a twitter about curation

Yesterday we looked at curating information purposefully using Scoop It as a quality tool for this purpose. In some ways, Twitter is a multi purpose tool belt. Today we return to twitter to examine ways to use it as a curation tool.

As part of the Day 14 activities, we introduce you to  Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano  who has written extensively about using Twitter for curating information.

curate with twitter

Graphic adapted from

We look forward to hearing about your curation experiences.

Happy learning!

Day 13: What’s the Scoop?

One of the most powerful aspects of our connected journey is making connections and information “work for us” by informing (and challenging) our professional practice. There is no doubt that we live in an information rich time, so having tools to help us locate  and organize information relevant to us is important.

What’s the Scoop?

The getting connected task for today is to explore a curation tool known as Scoop It.  Day 13  walks you through taking a look, signing up and curating your own content.

Happy curating!

Day 12: Curation as a Critical Digital Literacy

Today is Day 12. If you are just starting with us today, you might want to check out Day 1 here.

We often hear from teachers and leaders who have just had their “coming out of the cave” moment – that realization that their colleagues are learning together in powerful ways online, and they had no idea they were missing out.

Suddenly they realize that the information flow is just too overwhelming.  They don’t know their next step.

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Shared by Alan Levine (@cogdog) under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Curation is a way to start making sense of the information overload that is social media and the web.  Curation is the process of sorting and sifting through, sensemaking and organizing, and sharing back the information that you think is valuable.

Curation is a critical digital literacy.

Connecting with great curators will enhance your ability to effectively and efficiently learn online.

Today we begin to explore the importance of curation for educators and learners of all ages.

Congratulations on continuing to become a connected leader!


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From “Digital Leadership” by Eric Sheninger.

Day 11: Why Our PLN is a Professional Standard in Education

Today is Day 11. If you are just starting with us today, you might want to check out Day 1 here.

OSSEMOOC is a project of OSAPAC, and over the past three days, the OSAPAC group has been meeting f2f in Toronto, doing incredible work for Ontario students.

Members of OSAPAC sharing with OSSEMOOC participants, the role of the team in ensuring great digital resources for Ontario students.
Members of OSAPAC sharing with OSSEMOOC the role of the team in ensuring great digital resources for Ontario students.

IMG_0151On my way back to northern Ontario, I was reflecting on what a privilege it is to be part of a group of educators so passionate about what is best for children, so knowledgeable about digital resources and so determined to make a difference.  I am proud to have them in my PLN, both face-to-face as it was this past week, and over social media, as we work together until our next opportunity for a f2f session.

My Professional Learning Network is critical to my success as an Ontario (OCT) educator.

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Today we explore why building that PLN is especially important in 2015.

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From Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger

We will also take you on a tour of some of our favourite places to find personalized information online.

Thank you for continuing your journey to becoming a connected leader.


Day 10: The Power of Visual

Wikipedia defines Pinterest as “a web and mobile application company, which operates an eponymous photo sharing website.”  Read more  here.

While the definition mentions ‘photo sharing’ it can be thought of more generally as a visual sharing site organized by topics on “bulletin boards”.  Items are shared by pinning to the boards.


Enjoy exploring Pinterest as the Day 10 activity.  Once you have an account set up,  take to time to check out the  OSSEMOOC  account on Pinterest  or do search for “ossemooc“.


Shared by Heather Durnin under a CC Licence (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Shared by Heather Durnin under a CC Licence (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Day 9: Sharing Content

Today is Day 9.  If you are just starting with us today, you might want to check out Day 1 here.

Today we start to think about where you share.

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Shared by Alan Levine under a CC license (CC BY 2.0) [The colour of this border is “strawberry” :)]
If there is no sharing, there is no learning.

It is NOT necessary to give your resources and ideas to others so that they can be shared on other sites.

As we develop our digital literacies around ownership, sharing, citing and remixing, we will need to think deeply about how best to share with others.

Today, we explore the idea of sharing our bookmarking strategies, which is a first step in moving toward a sharing culture.

Thank you for continuing to learn to be a Digital Leader.


Lead Learners: Asynchronous and Synchronous Deep Learning on Twitter

Today is Day 8.  If you are just starting with us today, you might want to check out Day 1 here.

The world is changing so fast. We all need to be Lead Learners.

We can’t just tell others what they need to do in 2015 – we have to model it, and model the learning.

The power of Twitter is that you can easily find best practices and curated resources 24/7.  Much of what we do is asynchronous.  We put out a question, and others answer when they can.  We have ten minutes, and we look for resources that have been posted earlier.

But with Twitter Chats, our learning suddenly becomes synchronous – online here and now with colleagues, passionately sharing, asking, pondering, wondering around predetermined questions.

It’s easy to find a Twitter chat that is focused on your interests.

Sometimes chats are really popular and move quickly.  Sometimes fewer people participate and it is easier for newly connected leaders to contribute as they feel more comfortable in the environment.

We would like to share two popular Ontario Twitter chats with you today.

  1. #literacyon – This Twitter chat is held on the last Monday of each month, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Check out the Storify of the most recent chat here.
  2. #onedchat  Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 8.01.29 AM Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 8.00.27 AM



Sometimes we have spontaneous Twitter chats around events.   Here is a great example of a student-initiated Twitter chat around a panel discussion they were live streaming.  It’s worth your time to check it out!

To find out more about how you can learn with Twitter chats, please go to Day 8: Peeking Inside a Twitter Chat

Thank you to Mark Carbone, Julie Balen and Joe Sisco for contributing to these ideas while driving to OSAPAC in Toronto this morning.

Day 7: Adding Value – Attending Conferences from a Distance

Social note taking is the process of recording what you are learning in social media so that many people can learn with you.

During education conferences, attendees take notes on Twitter so that those who are unable to attend in person can learn from the Tweets.  The culture is participatory, so that conversations emerge from the Twitter stream among educators who are separated geographically.

As an example, #AELI15 has been Storified here

Some other recent examples in Ontario include #BIT15, #YRDSBQuest and #eladsb (for a learning session).

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Today in Day 7, we think about what you can learn from following conferences and learning events on Twitter, and how you can use the #FollowFriday hashtag to build a strong, valuable Twitter stream.

As you build your digital literacies for connected learning, think about some other ways you might use Twitter to spread learning.