Tag Archives: teacher

February 10: OSSEMOOC presents “Teacher as Researcher” with Dean Shareski

Upcoming OSSEMOOC live conversations:

 

February 10:

Dean Shareski:  “Teacher as Researcher”

In a world of constant flux and change, waiting for the white paper on “best practice” may not be the best way for teachers to stay innovative and provide the best experience for students. What is the role of teacher as researcher? What does or could it look like to be in a state of perpetual experimentation?

February 10, 2015 8 p.m. EST – 9 p.m. EST

Please use this link to enter the synchronous meeting room any time after 7:30 p.m.:
OSSEMOOC presents Dean Shareski.

Please sign up for this event using the form below:

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Passion-Driven Learning: K12 Online Conference!

You are a busy educator with no time to go to a conference, right?

The K12 Online Conference is PERFECT for you!  This week, K12 Online Conference features passion-driven learning.  Below is the schedule for this week.

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If 8 a.m. EDT is not a good time for you, you can watch the presentations (as far back as 2006!) at your convenience!

OSSEMOOC is proud to be presenting at this year’s conference.  Be sure to check out our video on Wednesday, October 29 at 8 a.m. EDT (in this time block) to hear about passion-driven learning through education leaders in Ontario.

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The Power of Joy

Back in November, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from Dean Shareski (@shareski) along with educators from throughout Northwestern Ontario (at SeLNO, the Symposium for eLearning in Northwestern Ontario).

The key take-away for me was Dean’s concern for the missing aspect of “joy” in our learning environments – our schools.

Last week, I was so pleased to see that my friends at HWDSB had the opportunity to ponder the same message.

 

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Shouldn’t the places where we all go to learn be full of joy?

Shouldn’t we be concerned that so many students hate school (and teachers)?

If students graduated with a love of learning, and a love of school, would it still be viable to attack public educators for political gain?

What’s standing in the way of joy in school?

This picture & post shared by  Donna Miller Fry.

 

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 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 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 12: Supporting Educators and Promoting New and Improved Learning for Our Students

Written and shared by Deborah McCallum

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about what learning is going to look like for our students in the future, and how education needs to change, to meet the needs of society. There are great leaders and movements starting up in Ontario that are helping to support educators and promote new and improved learning for our students.

Indeed, I believe that these new movements need to include embracing eLearning and blended learning environments as frameworks and catalysts for facilitating and activating successful learning for our students.

Today’s education system is outdated in many ways. Structures and institutions are built upon values from the Industrial era. Our students are no longer growing up in this era. There are new opportunities to learn, and learning can look different in different communities and families, cultures. Society has changed in many ways. As Steven Hurley stated in his opening speech at the On The Rise Conference (OTRK12) – desks may be organized in groups, but alas, they are still the same desks!

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We have new technologies that have permeated the rest of our world, our economies are changing rapidly, and job security and stability will not mean the same things for our children as they did for our parents generations.  Further, due to the rapidly changing society of technology, there will be different futures emerging for our students in terms of what jobs will be available. We have opportunities now for students to engage in a variety of learning experiences and a variety of literacies that we can promote to help them navigate uncertainty and follow their passions – literally right at our finger tips! Indeed, it is a very exciting time.

What do students need to succeed?

As I consider what it is that our students will need to succeed in their futures, I always come back to ‘Higher Order Thinking Skills’.  Without a doubt, these are the skills that future generations need to count on to succeed in any job, career, or learning environment.

Knowledge construction, metacognitive elements of learning, reflection, critical thinking, flexible decision making, imagination and creativity are just some of the skills that will be necessary.

Technology has come so far that it is so intuitive for anyone to use, but, the higher order thinking skills still need to be in place to make the most out of these learning opportunities and technologies. eLearning and blended learning environments will continue to grow, and therefore, we need to consider how to apply higher order thinking skills to the eLearning environment.

eLearning & Blended Learning

I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of a workshop at ORTK12 where we co-created an iBook on eLearning. What a brilliant idea to bring together educators to help describe this as something beautiful that can be presented to parents, teachers, students, administrators to understand these new virtual learning spaces that we can create for our students.

I look forward to these new spaces and places for learning, and more importantly learning how to effectively integrate the higher order thinking skills into these new paradigms of learning!

Deborah McCallum

Educator and Learner investigating the intersection between Knowledge Building, Indigenous perspectives, Edtech, Digital Citizenship & New Pedagogies for the 21st Century. Desire2Learn Instructor for AQ & OntarioLearn Highered; Teacher-Librarian Specialist; Science & Technology; Counselling Pychology, GD.

bigideasineducation.wordpress.com

@bigideasinedu

www.facebook.com/thebigideasineducation

Photo Credit:

alles-schlumpf via Compfight cc

Day 5: It’s the Little Things!

Shared by: Heather Theijsmeijer

Secondary Math/Physics/BYOD teacher at Manitoulin Secondary School (Rainbow District School Board).

http://byodasap.blogspot.ca

Twitter Handle: @HTheijsmeijer

 The other day, I was handing back assignments to my grade 12 Data Management class, when I was asked a surprising question by one of my students.

“Hey Miss,” he said, “do you still give out stickers when we do well on tests?”

Yes, an 18-year old, grade 12 boy.

I had forgotten about that. For years, I would place little star stickers – sparkly, colourful ones – next to students’ marks on assignments and tests when they got over 90%. I would try and do it on every item handed in for evaluation – from large projects right down to the smallest 5-mark task. There were some assignments on which no one received stars, and some where pretty much the entire class got 90% or higher, but regardless of the “importance” of the assignment, my rule stuck.starsticker.jpg

Photo Credit: Enokson via Compfight cc

 

I wasn’t sure it was making any kind of a difference in terms of motivation. I had seen a few students, over the years, carefully peel the stars off their work and stick them in rows on their binder. Others would compare stickers (“I got a blue one – what colour did you get?”), and some would ask why they didn’t get one. But I hadn’t heard anyone ever say, “I’m going to work harder so that I can get a star!”

And the majority of the students never did or said anything about the stickers, at least that I could see. Sure it was fun (from my point of view), but was it making any kind of a difference in the classroom?

I stopped doing it earlier this year when I went to mark a bunch of assignments at home and had inadvertently left my star stickers at school. It was such a little thing, that I didn’t think it would be noticed. And it wasn’t. I handed back the assignments and not a single student asked why there were no stars.

So the practice fell to the wayside. It’s funny how quickly you can fall out of a little habit like that when there are a dozen things on the go at once. And over time, like I said, I had forgotten that I had even done it in the first place.

Until the other day, when one of my students asked out of the blue if I still gave out star stickers.

“Do you remember that?” he said to another one of the boys at the table.

“I loved those stickers! They were the best!” the second boy replied.

“Wait, you guys used to get stickers? I want stickers too!” said a third, who had never had me as a teacher. “Why don’t we get stickers?”

(Aside: who knew grade 12 boys were so into stickers?)

This made me realize something important – no matter what we do in the classroom, the students notice. Every little act, gesture, comment; even if they don’t acknowledge that you do it, they notice. This can be a good thing – those little star stickers ended up being something they enjoyed, just as I’m sure little comments and tidbits of motivation are, a smile, or a nod of encouragement. But it can also be a negative experience they notice – every eye roll, unhappy face beside a poor mark, every time we neglect to make time for them and their questions.

Anything I can do to make my classroom a happier place for my students, no matter how trivial, I will try. Effective immediately, not only will I go back to using stickers to celebrate success, but I’ll also try harder to deliver as many smiles and messages of encouragement as I can. Because even if they don’t respond, they’ll notice.