Celebrating Future-Ready at WRDSB

I have been a longtime believer in a self directed job embedded approach to staff development.  For several years I have had the privilege of working with a dedicated team in IT Services  at the Waterloo Region District School Board to design and deliver staff development programs fitting this ideal.

Last fall I participated in the 2013 Connected Educator Month activities which included an opportunity to complete an interview and submit documentation about our CATC Camp and CATC connections programs along with information about the WRDSB Futures Forum Program.

Celebrate

I am honoured and thrilled that  our WRDSB submission been selected  as a part of the Future Ready program as an international case study and is published on the US government Tech Ed website as a one of six case studies selected.

OET_logo

A special announcement was shared with over 12,000 US based school superintendents.

Learn more about the Future Ready program.

The case studies, including our WRDSB submission  are online here.

View the Future Ready professional learning toolkit.

I want to acknowledge the team of Rebecca Rouse, Harry Niezen and recent retirees Ron Millar and Anita Brooks-Kirkland for their insightful and collaborative work with me in on our ITS staff development program.  I also appreciate the on going support and collaborative work of Mary Sue Meredith and Ken Whytock.

~Mark

CMA: Connecting more dots

Yesterday I had a chance to hear Simon Breakspear (@simonbreakspear) deliver his “Learning Redesigned” presentation. I thought the dive into deeper learning for all, and HOW was brilliant and thought provoking.

I have shared a simplified sketch of few key elements of the CMA model from my notability musings.

CMA

I am really interested in what Simon identified as three key aspects of change:  start small,  move fast, and  iterate frequently. Clearly, these are aspects of change that big organizations such as K12 institutions do not excel at.   As I was reflecting on his message over the day, I got to thinking about other connections within the K12 structure.

I don’t see this insight limited to learning and instructional practice. IT departments need to operate in this way too.  I can envision many benefits of striking more quickly with technology change and implementation – especially with the ever increasing rate of digital change.  The rapid iteration notion would apply to developing support models, tweaking networks for optimum performance and perhaps dynamic agile assignment of people resources to deal with trending needs re help-desk support models etc.

I wonder if the real quest is for instructional change & digital change to be working through this process at the same time for a more harmonious, rapid and positive change.

I love the AMPLIFY element of Simon’s model. There is no replacement for nurturing others, starting conversations and sharing your thinking and learning. PERIOD.  As part of the go forward process, in my view it is critical that we, yes we – all of us, take the time to share our experiences in ways that are findable, sharable and provide forums for comments and questions: blogs, videos, chats etc. – we must leverage the learnings from the journeys we each experience.

~Mark

Quest 2014: Innovative Practices

Last week I had the privilege of participating on a panel discussion at the YRDSB’s Quest conference  with Lewis Morgulis (DCDSB) and Russ Coles (YRDSB).  The panel was  moderated by Margaret Roberts (YRDSB).  I appreciate that, with permission,  we were able to livestream and record the session to offer a virtual learning opportunity to other interested educators.

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The panel discussion was centred around four guiding questions:

  • What is innovation in a K-12 context?
  • Share an example where innovation has been successfully implemented?
  • What were the elements that made your example successful?
  • What were the challenges?

Watch the panel session.

Following the panel discussion, participants engaged in table discussion guided by the question and statement  set below.

  • What does innovation look like, sound like, feel like?
  • share personal examples
  • How do you engage staff that are resistant to change?
  • How do you build a culture where change is accepted and embraced?
  • Identify barriers and potential solutions

Participants also added comments, ideas and questions to a Today’s Meeting back channel.  I have shared three quotes that resonated with me below.

Russ: thinking outside the box while living in the box

Mary-Anne: innovation starts when we stop accepting the status quo

Donna Miller Fry: (virtually from TBay)  Innovation requires a willingness to be distrubed by M. Wheatley

Do you find these quotes & ideas intriguing?   Check out the full session transcript  [here]  from the Todays Meet  collaboration space.

The closing comment spoke for itself:  As a result of your learning today, what would you do to start to implement this in your own context?

Please share your innovation ideas!

~Mark

Virtual Learning via Quest

This week I have the opportunity to participate at the annual York Region DSB Quest conference on a panel discussion. Our topic is promoting innovative practices.   I have received permission to livestream the panel session Thursday November 20th 2:15-3:45 p.m. EST  to allow for virtual learning opportunities.

The live video stream event will be listed  [here].  (Note: free account needed for viewing) .  There  is a Today’s meet back channel available  at Promoting Innovative Practice.

Session details:

Quest2014-1

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Additional information about the  Quest Conference.
Follow the Quest twitter stream.

I hope you can join us.

~Mark

 

OSAPAC: Four GREAT Resources

There is lots of exciting news on the OSAPAC front. The new OSAPAC website  was launched at the recent  Bring IT Together  conference.   In this post, I am highlighting four newsworthy items.

One of the new exciting Ontario provincial licenses is for Mindomo, web based mind mapping software for all educators in Ontario publicly funded schools. Have a look at the handy “get started” poster.

mindomo

You should also check out the new Ontario developed  resources: the SAMR model,  digital citizenship  and  OSSEMOOC,  the  Connected Leadership opportunity.

Enjoy the new digital resources!  Grow your mindset!

Check  [here]  for more details.

~Mark

Make IT a Journey

Bring IT Together 2014 has without a doubt been an amazing conference.  We are stronger than ever before.  One of the aspects that make this conference special is the Focusing on TOGETHER in Bring IT Together.

BIT14

I want to extent an sincere thank you to the entire “Green Shirt Team” for the vision and work to plan an exciting, engaging and connecting conference.  Well done!

The Journey Challenge: 

As you prepare to travel back to your respective school boards, savour the highs, the new learnings and your new connections.  I also  want to encourage you to consider this wonderful event as the starting point of a journey.  I am thinking that the most important thing that happens between now and the 2015 conference event is the journey you will take.

Fallsview

Some thinking prompts:

  • How has your growth mindset changed as a result of something that happened here at the conference?
  •  How will you nurture the new connections you made?
  • Will you change the way in which you participate in professional learning?
  • How will you share?
  • How will you make your thinking visible?
  • What actions will you take to help a colleague move along their professional growth path?

Plan to make a difference!

Safe travels,  see you online.

~Mark

BIT14 Presentation Resources

It was a pleasure for me to team up with  Jennifer Paziuk  to present on  Innovative Learning Opportunities. As promised, we are sharing the session resources.

Futures Forum Project -June 28, 2013  from  WRDSB Learning Services  on  Vimeo.

Additional blog articles about the  WRDSB Futures Forum Project.

~Mark & Jennifer

Connect, Learn, Reflect, Share: Make a Difference Today

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