Tag Archives: discussion

January 27, 2015: Thinking About Professional Learning

The OSSEMOOC Tuesday Night Open Mic session (January 27, 8 p.m. EST) will focus on some of the key conversations from Educon on the topic of Professional Learning.

Click  [here]  to join the meeting room anytime after 7:30.

If you check the #hackpd hashtag and the #Educon hashtag, you will see some of the rich conversations that happened this past weekend at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia.  We want to bring your thoughts on this topic into the conversation.

Here is our key question (originally posed by David Jakes and Kristin Swanson at Educon 2.7):

 “How does a shift occur from a mindset where learning is provided to a culture where learning is sought?”

 

To dig into this, we will focus mainly on the role of the educator.

 

Here are a few of the questions we are posing for this week:

 

1. What do well-designed learning experiences for adults look like?

 

2. Do you believe that all educator professional learning should be directed by what knowledge and skills the data indicate that students need to succeed (i.e., that all professional learning is based on student learning needs)?

 

3.  Should school and system leadership support teachers in the design of their own learning experiences?  If so, how can they do this?

4. Should schools create a culture of teacher-learner agency? (From Wikipedia, “In the social sciencesagency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices”.)

5. Do you think that “Professional Development” creates a culture of learned helplessness?

 

6. A conversation around this provocation:

 

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We hope you will join in the synchronous conversation, and continue to add your thinking to the #hackpd , #ossemooc , and #ontedleaders conversations online. Resources:
1. Solving the Professional Learning Crisis
2. What Counts as Professional Learning?
3. Effective Professional Learning

 

Learn about Pedagogical Documentation

Join OSSEMOOC on Tuesday Oct. 28th, 8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT for a presentation and discussion about pedagogical documentation.
Click  [here]  to connect to the online meeting space any time after 7:30 p.m.

We look forward to connecting with you.

Your OSSEMOOC Team

Building Content Knowledge: Collaborate and Curate

Sylvia Rosenthal-Tolisano (@Langwitches) is one of my favourite bloggers.  She does visually represent the learning in incredible ways, and I have a number of her posters hanging in my classroom. BUT, it is her teaching through her blogs that I so appreciate.

In this post, “Building Content Knowledge: Collaborate and Curate”, she includes video, images, and annotations to help her reader really “see” the Digital Learning Farm (Alan November) in action!

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Tolisano never forgets the role of technology in the teaching and learning cycle. Skill-building in reading for meaning, gathering information, and note making–all key components in the research process–are front and centre here without the traditional teacher lecture and notes for students and in ways that support students’ acquisition of information literacy skills.

Take some time to explore Langwitches’ Blog. It will be worth your while.

Shared by: Julie Balen, High School English Teacher,  Wikwemikong Board of Education (@jacbalen)

 

Day 26: Modelling the Knowledge Building Circle

Written and shared by Heidi Siwak.

Originally posted here.

This is a quick overview of how a Knowledge Building Circle is used to build collective knowledge.

Grade 6 Geography Inquiry Begins:

Day 1: Provocation: Canada is removing the humpback whale from the threatened species list. One student is aware of the story and quickly brings the rest of the class up to date. There are 2 very different reactions. For some this is good news; the species must be safe now. For others this is terrible news; we’re not protecting whales. We remind ourselves to climb down our ladders; this is something to be explored. I lead students into a discussion of Canada’s role and responsibilities in a global community.

I then ask them to think about what a global community is and what they actually know about the world.

Schema/Prior Knowledge

Students discuss places, name a few environmental issues and one or two organizations including the UN. It is surprising how little they were able to put forward about the world. There are many things they have “kinda” heard of and many misconceptions.

As we talk, students map their current model of the world including places, events, issues, people and news stories. This is a map that they will continue to build as they learn about the world.

The roll up map is a popular tool in our classroom. It comes down frequently for various reasons. Here students are confirming place names before they add them to their global knowledge maps.

In our discussion the United Nations is mentioned. A few students have a vague understanding that it is something that includes all nations and helps out in the world.  I ask the students where it is. No one knows but 2 theories emerge:

1. It must be in the middle of the ocean because that is a place that doesn’t belong to one particular country.
2. It might be in Antarctica because that is also a place that doesn’t belong to one country.

Students decide to find out. They head to the lab and begin constructing knowledge on the United Nations.

Both hypotheses are disconfirmed.

Day 2

We hold a knowledge building circle where each student shares what they discovered about the UN to help build the collective knowledge of the class. As information is shared students discuss and use words such as assumption, I’m on the Ladder, and the language of disagreement as they clarify their understanding. New knowledge is added to the chart above. As discussion unfolds, students become more careful about word choice. Conflicting information emerges; students grapple with the information until clarity is reached. For example, various dates are mentioned in relation to the start of the UN. Eventually the group distinguishes between the League of Nations and WWI, Franklin D Roosevelt and WWII, and the physical construction in Manhattan that sits on neutral territory.

We discuss the value of the Knowledge Building Circle. Students recognize a number of things:

1. This is an application of the most effective communication pattern for learning.
2.  It is interesting to find out what others have learned.

The idea that we are building a community of knowledge is beginning to take hold.

Day 3: During the discussion students find out that our Prime Minister is not supportive of the UN. There are several gasps so I draw their attention to the Ladder of Inference and ask, “Who has just jumped up the ladder and concluded this is a bad thing?” Several hands shot up (including mine) One student speaks up and says that we really don’t have enough information to decide if it’s good or bad. We climb down our ladders and decide we need to learn more.

Day 3

I direct the students to United Nations Development Program as a starting point. As they construct knowledge there are expectations. As they read/view about places and projects, they must use Google Maps to find where those places are and add them to their paper maps to show how their understanding of the world is increasing.  They must also bring something they’ve learned to tomorrow’s Knowledge Building Circle.

As students work they converse with those nearby about their learning, help each other interpret charts and graphs,  call me over to share what they’ve found out and pose questions which are recorded on the Question Board.

A remarkable moment of thinking happened during this process. James noticed that the 8 development goals are in a particular order and wondered if the goals are ranked by priority. He then worked out a more efficient order because he felt that if certain problems were solved first, other problems would automatically be addressed.  He independently created a causal model.

Several students added interesting information to their blogs.

From Natural Curiosity

Heidi Siwak is a middle school teacher whose innovative work is creating new models of learning. She has been recognized by the Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s innovative teachers. Her students undertake original projects that challenge the boundaries of learning. Heidi and her students have won national awards for innovation in education. She has been featured on TVO’s Learning 2030 series and as a guest blogger. Her blog is carried by CBC’s digital media service in Hamilton. Heidi is currently exploring Integrative and Design Thinking with her students. She is recognized as an inspirational speaker and is available for workshops.
Follow Heidi Siwak on Twitter: @heidisiwak

Day 25: Just Do Something!

Written and shared by Kelly-Ann Power

My problem is… I overthink things.

I overthink things to the point of not even beginning something that should be a relatively easy task, if I were to just begin. I am constantly trying to think of an even better way to begin or set things up or roll out a plan. To the point of sometimes sitting very still for a long time.

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What’s the best way to organize my garage? What’s the best way to switch my winter clothes out of my closet and start bringing out my summer stuff? What’s the best way to sort out the content on my sister’s Greenhouse website? By the way, none of these 3 tasks have been started. I get stuck.

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A few weeks ago, I was quite geeked to be a part of a 4 day professional learning experience involving a “Google Bootcamp” and a “Google Summit”. Many ideas streamed by me for 4 days at lightning speed… people sharing ideas… apps to try… extensions to add to Chrome… and solid pedagogical practices that were shared. For 4 days, I tried to organize it all in my head and figure out a strategic way to implement some of the possibilities with my staff. I struggled with how to “dial it back” a notch to begin at a reasonable speed.

I had a great discussion tonight with a few colleagues as we shared and brainstormed about “what would be the best way” to share ideas with our staffs regarding curriculum, pedagogy, and integration of technology. We shared our ideas of our weekly newsletters that are sent electronically. We shared our attempts at organizing blogs according to strategies we see in our schools. We shared our face-to-face discussions.

And then I started to talk about my vision of how I’ve always wanted to start a separate page on my website that I could begin sharing weekly ideas with my staff, that would be archived online for future access as well. And as I listened to myself say “I’ve always wanted to do that, but haven’t figured out a way to organize it all yet”, I realized that I could be putting it off for a very long time. I stared into space for a brief moment, and I realized… stop trying to organize it all and just begin.

The process just repeats with me.

Learn… reflect… do.

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It’s the timing of each that seems to vary with me.

What have you been spending too much time organizing your thinking around? What can you begin tomorrow?

 

 

Kelly-Ann Power is a Vice-Principal in the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board serving as a Vice-Principal representative for the WEPVPA Executive.  Her previous role for 10 years prior to being a Vice-Principal was as a teacher consultant in the area of Assessment & Evaluation for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.  As a facilitator of professional learning,  she was afforded the opportunity of working along side both elementary and secondary colleagues in the school and classroom settings.  Her 12 years of classroom teaching experience, prior to becoming a consultant, in the St. Clair Catholic District School Board spanned Grades 1 to 8, as well as Special Education.

  • twitter @kellypower
  • slideshare.net/kellyannpower

Photo Credits:

Stuck – Neal. via Compfight cc

Swings – Todd Binger via Compfight cc

Day 24: Learning About Feedback

Written and shared by Michelle Parrish

I’m learning about feedback, and the intense process involved with it. Yes, I said “intense” – you’ll see why. 🙂

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 Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Comprehension Test

 

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Lyrics

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Interview

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Comic

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Collage

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Journal Entry

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 6.58.19 AM Bulletin Board – Back Wall of Classroom

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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 Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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 Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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Individual Google Docs, with Hyperlinked Feedback

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 Individual Google Docs, with Hyperlinked Reminders & Feedback

It’s all of 15 seconds – certainly a VERY SMALL PART of the 100 hours of video that is uploaded to youtube every hour!

But it’s a lot more than 15 seconds to the Grade 8s. To them, it’s a reminder of the steps involved in using teacher feedback. Steps? Yes, there are several steps actually. And sometimes they don’t remember them – which totally disheartens me because I know I was late getting home for a supper my hubby made last week! Late – because I was recording audio feedback to guide my students in their next day’s assignment.

So, it’s really, REALLY important to me that they use their feedback – important because I know they need the feedback to do their best job, and important because I was late for supper when my husband was cooking (a rare event indeed!). So, if I’m going to take the time to give feedback, I need to make sure they are using it for their learning.

In the flowchart (which was actually recorded on a whim for a friend, and not at all intended for its 15 second spot on youtube!), there are 7 steps.

1. Pick a book you like.
2. Read what other people did to be amazing (see bulletin board photos in slideshow).
3. Listen to the reminders for that task (audio recordings for each task were embedded in the google doc)
4. Listen to the feedback given on previous tasks (audio recordings were hyperlinked in each student’s google doc)
5. Use the planner, set goals to show what you know (see planner photos in slideshow)
6. Monitor your brain’s activity – check on what you’re doing (we talk about metacognition whenever I remember to!)
7. Hand in your best work!

The Grade 8s were advised that they needed to follow the chart as they prepared for their work. It was fabulous to see them moving around the room. Some were reading the bulletin board and some were conferencing with their peers (sometimes my feedback directs them to a peer who can provide a specific example of a particular skill). Others were listening to feedback and writing down their goals. A few were grabbing the planners and success criteria handouts. I was circulating, providing some one-to-one support where it was needed. I was able to focus my time on some key issues and struggling learners because every student already had some feedback to guide them in their next steps.

Now if only I could figure out how to remove the nasally tone from my recorded feedback – whose voice is that anyway?

Michelle Parrish is a learner and teacher in Northwestern Ontario, and she is most happy when working alongside her grade 8 students.

Follow her on Twitter – @mproom31

#OSSEMOOC 20140422

Our April 22nd Tuesday night discussion will delve into the topic of Digital Citizenship.  In consideration of today’s technology enabled learning environments, and the connected lives our students lead this is an area of increasing importance.

Join the meeting room by clicking  [here]  any time after 7:30.  The session will run 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.   If you are joining the OSSEMOOC conversation for the first time,  please allow a few extra minutes for the necessary set up downloads to occur.

We look forward to connecting with you to discuss this important topic.

Your OSSEMOOC Team

#OSSEMOOC 20140415

Our April 15th Tuesday night session will be a discussion about “Reflecting on Learning” by sharing comments and insights on the first two weeks of posts in the  30 Days of learning  project.  Check out the great sharing from  the first two weeks here.

Join the meeting room by clicking   [here]  any time after 7:30.  The session will run 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.   If you are joining the OSSEMOOC conversation for the first time,  please allow a few extra minutes for the necessary set up downloads to occur.

We look forward to connecting with you.

Your OSSEMOOC Team

Day 8: Feeling Off-Balance is Okay

Written and shared by
Julie Balen

Last week, we were asked as a staff to once again articulate what technology needs we  have. Like many schools and school districts, we are working hard to upgrade our infrastructure and our hardware. This is necessary work, to be sure. But as I listened to the ‘wish list’ that teachers have, I reflected on how this conversation about tools did not stem from the need to change practice.

And maybe it can’t. Maybe the process of the integration of technology and shifting practice has to happen at the individual level.

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 Photo Credit: Mark Hunter via Compfight

I have a class set of Chromebooks, and the impetus for acquiring them was not pedagogical. In the fall of 2013, I was asked to teach grade 10 communications technology, and the Chromebooks were purchased to support that course. But I had them, so why not use them in all of my classes? This could be a bit of a pilot program, we (the principal and I) told ourselves. Let’s see how these devices work out in the non-tech classroom.

The Chromebooks worked marvelously.

I didn’t.

Sure, I knew how to use the machines and the apps. I knew how to set up student blogs and wikis. I knew how to organize documents and folders, to comment, and to share. What I didn’t know how to do was to integrate the devices into the teaching that I do.  Let me try that again. What I didn’t know was that I needed to see the curriculum (English) in a completely different way. What I didn’t know was that ‘changing my practice’ meant reconsidering every aspect of my practice from how I structured the course (traditionally thematically) to what essential skills I believed my students needed to have and how they would/could demonstrate them.

Here’s an example: Senior students need to demonstrate their ability to research, organize ideas, write, revise, format for publication, and cite sources appropriately. For many teachers, this translates into a research report or essay that is produced in Word or Google documents and that is printed or shared. Is that traditional research report/essay format still valid? Do I need to teach them how to produce their thinking in this manner because that’s the format required or expected in higher ed? Or can students research, curate, embed, link, write, and cite in a wiki? Or is the conversation really about choice?

This past February, I had a conversation with Steve Anderson (@Web20Classroom ) about content curation, in which I raised these same questions. His response? We need to understand that “there is no final solution when it comes to [student] learning.”

No final solution. No one way. No program. No script.

What I learn a bit more each day is to be okay with feeling off balance as I figure out what to hang on to from how I taught before and what to let go of. And this, I think, is not something that anyone else can do for me.

Julie Balen has worked for the Wikwemikong Board of Education on Manitoulin Island for the past 13 years, mostly as a high school English teacher, but also as a system-wide literacy coach.

Julie Balen

Blog: http://connectingtolearn.edublogs.org/

Twitter: @jacbalen

About Me: http://about.me/julie.balen

Celebrating Ontario Education Bloggers

Here are a few new posts written by Ontario Educators over the past few days.  Let’s support our bloggers who are making their thinking visible, reflecting on their learning and sharing with others.  Continue the conversation by providing feedback in the comments.

 

Deborah McCallum:

http://bigideasineducation.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/it-is-not-about-the-technology-it-is-about-what-we-do-with-it/

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Paul McGuire:

http://paulmcguire1.wordpress.com/

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Lorraine Boulos

http://raine6.blogspot.ca/

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