Tag Archives: leading

Learning is Messy

We have all heard the phrase ‘learning is messy’.

When we hear the phrase, do we think only about student learning?

Are we okay with the idea that our learning will be messy too?  We will be frustrated, we may get emotional, and we may be afraid to keep going.

Learning is messy. Expect it! Do it anyway!

Learning is Messy from James Michie on Vimeo.

Here is more thinking on messy learning from Dr. Jackie Gerstein.

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What You Ignore, You Permit

 Connected Principals:  What You Ignore, You Permit.

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I wonder if the “concern” or “uneasiness” of others eventually leads to a reduction in relational trust with the leader and thus eventually puts the leader’s credibility into question?

Nicole Morden Cormier (@NickiMC20)

School Effectiveness Lead/Early Years Lead

Superior-Greenstone District School Board

 

30 Days of Learning in Ontario: What Did We Learn Today?

As the 30 Days of Learning in Ontario OSSEMOOC project comes to a close, we want to thank, and congratulate, all of the educators who took the opportunity to share their learning.  For some, it was their very first time posting their thinking in the blog format.  We thank you for taking the time to let others learn from you.  We hope that you will continue to share your learning and connect with others doing the same.

Thank you as well to everyone who took the time to comment on the blog.  You shared your response and your feedback, and kept the thinking and conversations going.

Special thanks to Deb McCallum for creating a flipboard magazine with the content here: https://flipboard.com/section/ossemooc-b4GnnY

One of our goals in OSSEMOOC is to have people connect and then create, to go off and learn and share, to sustain those connections and that learning.  We were excited to see Deborah McCallum’s efforts to collate the 30 Days of Learning in a new format.

 

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Collaborative blogs give ownership to a group rather than an individual.  As co-owners, we all anticipate the next learning.  We are motivated to comment and continue the conversation as we are invested in this community of learners.  Collaborative blogs encourage new thinking, invite new participants, expand our world and our learning.  They give us a focus for reading and sharing.

We learn by watching others.  We teach by modelling the practices we value.  Collaborative blogging allows us to model the action of making thinking visible.

We all have a story to tell, and we learn from each other. Together we are stronger and wiser. Connected learning takes many forms: observing, reading, asking, reflecting, writing, speaking, audio, video and collaborating. Connected learning and leading is a participatory culture. It takes time, time to jump in, time to create new routines and time to build comfort. Courage is needed to put yourself “out there” and find your voice. It is worth the risk to gain insight, broader perspectives and recognize that “the smartest person in the room is the room”.

In our technology enabled learning environments, connected students need connected teachers and leaders. As educators, I believe each of us owns nurturing those around us and role modelling. As pointed out in one of the blog posts, value encouragement and supporting each other with “just right” feedback is important for adult learners too.

Each of the 30 days of learning bloggers has taken the leap of faith, put themselves “out there” to share their reflections and ideas. Congratulations to all for openly participating in the collaborative learning process.

We often wonder why it is so hard to change thinking in education, to bring people into the world of connected learning.  We learned from Tim’s comment that perhaps focusing on the changing world, while validating the work that has been done, is a key component of making this change happen.

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This comment on Stacey Wallwin’s blog helped to reinforce the understanding that what you do has impact that you cannot always see.  Comments like this are the sustenance we all need to keep doing our work to Change the World #CTW

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It’s hard to hit publish.  But opportunity can be fleeting.  Don’t be afraid to share.

Be more dog and grab the frisbee when it comes your way.  Carpe diem!

Mark Carbone and Donna Fry

OSAPAC Co-Leads for #OSSEMOOC.  

Change The World #CTW 

 

30 Days of Learning in Ontario:

The Lead Learners Who Modelled the Importance of Sharing Learning and Thinking

Our model pre-April blogger: Rodd Lucier @thecleversheep

1 Mark Carbone @markwcarbone

2 Cathy Beach @beachcat11

3 Brandon Grasley @bgrasley

4 Aviva Dusinger @avivaloca

5 Heather Theijsmeir @HTheijsmeijer

6 Jonathan So @mrsoclassroom

7 Louise Robitaille @robitaille2011

8 Julie Balen @jacbalen

9 Jac Calder @jaccalder

10 Scott Monahan @monahan_scott

11 Emily Fitzpatrick@ugdsb_missfitz

12 Deborah McCallum @bigideasinedu

13 Paul McGuire @mcguirp

14 Bea Meglio @megliomedia

15 Lindy Henderson @hendylou

16 Andy Forgrave @aforgrave

17 Brandon Grasley @bgrasley

18 Donna Fry @fryed

19 Mrs. Lewis @mrslewistweets

20 Heather Touzin @heathertouzin

21 Mark Carbone @markwcarbone

22 Daniel Pinizzotto @mrpinizzotto

23 Brenda Sherry @brendasherry

24 Michelle Parrish @mproom31

25 Kellyann Power @kellypower

26 Heidi Siwak @heidisiwak

27 Doug Peterson @dougpete

28 Rita Givlin @ritagivlin

29 Stacey Wallwin @wallwins

30 Denise Buttenaar @butden

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 23:Leaping Ahead With Our Own Learning

Written and shared by Brenda Sherry.

The original post can be found here: http://bsherry.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/otrk12-and-google-summit-learning/

OTRK12 AND GOOGLE SUMMIT LEARNING

My friends Donna Fry and Mark Carbone, co-creators of the #ossemooc  have put out a call for us to share our learning during this month of April and, as always, it takes me a little while to get my posts onto the blog!

Luckily for me, I had two great experiences last week,  one at the #otrk12 conference and one at the #gafesummit in Waterloo.   Starting withStephen Hurley’s examples of passion-based learning at OTRK12 was wonderful and I enjoyed presenting to the e-learning teachers about creating dynamic virtual discussions and seeing Jaclyn Calder’s presentation about the Grader App for D2L with awesome options for providing differentiated and timely feedback to learners.   It’s wonderful to see what an amazing teacher like Jaclyn does with technology!

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While I could share all the tips and tricks that I learned at #otrk12 and the #gafesummit,  I think I’d rather share a few observations that I have mulling around and arising from these 2 great learning events.

A principal from my school board approached me at the Google Summit a little distraught that she had perhaps purchased the wrong technology this year. She has provided her teachers and students with a variety of tools like  ipads, laptops, desktops and Chromebooks.  She seemed a little worried that she had made a wrong choice and should have bought more Chromebooks.  I reminded her, that regardless of how ‘feel good and for the cause of all children and teachers everywhere’ this event undoubtedly was, it was also a Google event after all,  and their mission was to make her feel as though Google products were the bomb. Obviously – they succeeded!

I assured her that an effective technology ecology in her school would also include some higher-end media creation tools like her computers and her ipads, and that she’d want to remember that the ability to do some computing with computers is also a really important skill for our students today.

I remember when Nicholas Negroponte from MIT started to predict that ubiquity would be a game changer in our adoption of technology but that rather than getting simpler, as they should over time,  there was this interesting phenomenon with computers called ‘featuritis’ whereby software developers keep the software getting more complex and complicated (bloated and expensive) rather than cheaper.  Google seems to have figured that out.  Make the browser do most of the work, and the machine could remain inexpensive,  although not as robust.   Maybe robust is not what we are looking for in education anyway.  Easy (for teachers)  seems to be the preferred approach when it comes to technology.   I’m not in complete agreement with this, but I’m learning to accept it.   It is what it is.

People often ask me if I think things are suddenly changing, and while I’m hopeful,  I’m still cautious because I’m not sure it’s the technology that has been holding us back.   We’ve been able to connect our students around the world with blogs since about 2005 and with global projects using forums and list serves since the 1980s.  How many of us jumped on board?  We’ve had extremely rich sites sharing how-to’s of authentic learning and Project Based Learning for more than two decades.   Were we on board then?

We have had Ministry Licensed products that allow multimedia creation and assistive technology for our students for another decade or so.  Were we all making use of these?  When I tell people that my students and I were blogging with other classrooms across the world almost 10 years ago now, and we did this by taking turns all throughout the day on two desktop computers,  they sometimes look at me strangely – like they couldn’t imagine doing that without the Chromebook cart rolled down to the classroom or students 1:1 on their own devices.   They complain that there isn’t enough technology, and yet their classroom computer is often sitting silently in the corner reserved for teacher email.  What’s up with that?

I’m reminded that early adopters will always be willing to put in the countless hours that lead them to mastery of technology tools (and other things) if they feel that will  transform their classrooms – that hasn’t changed much since computers were first introduced into classrooms.

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Despite my observations, and my confusion about slow progress in educational technology, I refuse to become cynical.  Instead, I’m telling myself that it’s the ubiquity and access that will make the difference this time around.  Now that educators can leap ahead with their own learning through connected networks, they are not bound any longer by the limits of their own school building or in-services for learning…they can connect with and  support each other and learn not only how to use these tools, but what effective use looks like.

Now that we can share our success stories and connect more widely through social media and through networks like the #ossemooc there is no reason to ‘wait for the learning’ – we can just go out and get it!  It was exciting to see so many educators at OTRK12 and GAFE Summit finding their community and learning together!

Brenda Sherry is an education leader from UGDSB.

She shares her learning here:

Presentations, workshops and publications
On Twitter @brendasherry
www.diigo.com/user/bsherry
http://delicious.com/bsherry
http://www.slideshare.net/bsherry
www.tech2learn.wikispaces.com

 

Day 20: Sharing My Learning at #OTRK12

Written and shared by Heather Touzin

 

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I had the fantastic pleasure of presenting at OTRK12 on April 1st, 2014. It was my first time ever presenting to a group of educators outside of my board. I loved it. Maybe it was the topic (TLD class at AMSS and the Provincial Learning Management System D2L), or maybe it was because I felt like everyone in the room understood the struggle to engage adolescents with their AT. The most powerful moments came when members of the audience shared their experience, and their questions. I was able to illustrate to this group the ways the D2L addresses the needs of some AT learners. I feel there was a strong need for educators involved with AT to connect and share. I follow the #ATCHAT hashtag and conversations on Wednesday nights on Twitter.

 Twitter has fast become my go-to for keeping up with AT and other edtech based questions I have. My ever-growing PLN has offered me more in two years, then all my PD days combined. I value the sharing, the questions, and the support I receive from the Twitterverse of teachers out there.

This connected network of teachers, is by far the most exciting learning I have experienced.  We live in a fast paced, ever-changing tech world. We educators need to keep up. We need to adapt. But most importantly, we need to teach our students, HOW to adapt to change, and HOW to wield that change to their learning needs. And that makes for exciting times as an educator.

 Heather Touzin is a special education English teacher with the Lambton Kent District School Board. Recently, her focus shifted to assistive technology and blending learning. For the past three years, she taught English to a dedicated one-to-one SEA computer class, at Alexander Mackenzie Secondary School in Sarnia. Currently, she provides support to secondary AT students, resource teachers, and classroom teachers in her board.

Follow Heather Touzin on Twitter: @heathertouzin

Day 13: Our First Edcamp

Whole-Hearted

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one of three workshops put on for our first Edcamp

How can we possibly find the time to give teachers opportunities to learn about new technology?  There is no question that we need to find a way to change the way we deliver PD.  Teacher learning needs to be embedded and easily accessible so that everyone can keep up with all the changes being brought on through Google, Apple, chromebooks and apps apps apps!

We are experimenting with a version of the edcamp model. To do this, I gave over our regular meeting time (once per month) and allowed teachers to sign up for three 20 minute workshops.  Fortunately, we had three staff members who were willing to present.

I don’t think this is how a regular edcamp would work, but we were dealing with limited time and no more than 15 staff.

The model needs some work, but…

View original post 350 more words

Day 11: Living Out Loud

Written and shared by

Emily Fitzpatrick

I was honoured today to be in attendance at the GAFE Summit Ontario where I had the opportunity to listen to the final keynote, Michael Wacker.  Michael’s keynote focused on us Living Out Loud! Michael fostered the “yes and …” answer to our questions and learning rather than the “yes but …” mindset.

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Throughout Michael’s keynote, I really had a chance to think about how I will inspire not only my students but the other teachers at my school, board and PLN.  What do we do to inspire our students to engage and have fun in our learning?  How can do transfer these ideas to excite those tech-reluctant teachers back at home?

One great idea that came from my PLN on Twitter was the idea of holding a Demo Slam at the end of each staff meeting.  This is an interactive and engaging experience for slammers and the audience.  This gives the teachers at our school a chance to show off their stuff or learn something quick and new to learn in their classrooms the next day.  Having someone tweet or email out all of the great ideas from the slam will allow for the conversation to continue outside of the meeting.

Another take-away from the keynote was the idea of our students collecting or connecting the dots.  I feel that as teachers we need to do both.  The students need opportunity to collect the stars (another way of saying collecting tools for their toolbox).  They need to collect their knowledge and understanding of the methods, concepts or ideas and then connect them; it is when students connect their stars is where their deeper learning takes place.  As educators we need to provide the experience of connecting the stars; transferring their learning into new and unseen circumstances.

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Finally, Michael spoke about how we should not give up.  Google was not created in a day; it was created over a period of time with TONS of iterations, remakes, ideas tried out and scrapped or further developed.  As teachers, we need to adapt this model.  We need to make our lessons and our own learning as versions.  Educators need to be OK with have a lesson 1.0, a lesson 2.0, a lesson 2.5, and lesson 3.0 and allow the development be as long as it needs to to ensure that the students are engaged, empowered, connected, and connecting their dots. We need to be OK with sharing our materials with each other and collaborating with each other like we ask our students to do. I love the saying that goes nicely with this: “Steal with Pride.”  If someone is using your idea or commenting/improving/reflecting on your idea that means they think it is worth it!  It should be a form of flattery if someone else wants to use your ideas in their classroom!

 The ideas flowing from our Learning Out Loud journey are endless; these ideas will shape the world of education today and in the future.  Our iterations of our lessons, ideas and strategies will only grow, like Chrome, Drive and Google +, and become those outstanding ideas that are shared at conferences world-wide.  All we need to do is take the first steps in sharing, connecting the dots and engaging all who we interact with.

Emily Fitzpatrick

Ontario High School Math, Computer Programming, Resource Teacher; lifelong learner and tech junkie

Blog: http://teachingmathinpink.wordpress.com/

@ugdsb_missfitz

Images:

YES: @Doug88888 via Compfight cc

TRY: SvobodaIT via Compfight cc