This has definitely been a week of anticipation. I am always excited for CATC Camp, our summer self directed, self paced learning opportunity for staff that focuses on technology enabled learning, effective use of digital tools and digital resources.
The first two days of camp have been awesome! Based on an email I received from Google on Monday of this week, I also knew that we were getting close, REALLY close on the activation of the Google Classroom feature of our GAFE (Google Apps for Educators) environment. I had been sporadically checking all week … not yet … not yet. I tried once more just before supper tonight – not yet. I was beginning to feel like this was the watched tea kettle that wouldn’t boil.
As we were setting up for our post dinner newstime, I thought why not try one last time for today. YIKES – there is was – installed and active. It felt like Christmas in August, and was SO MUCH FUN making the surprise announcement to our CATC Camp attendees. I wished I had thought to record the reaction in the room – instant energy, excitement and applause.
Well, this was a perfect opportunity to offer a quick tour and orientation for interested staff. No problem – Andrew Bieronski jumped into action and provided a nice spontaneous workshop. In the 75 minutes following the announcement, staff were tweeting, re-tweeting about the announcement, sharing and exploring. Some went ahead and set up their 14/15 classes and added the first student assignment. My initial observation was that Google Classroom was easy & intuitive to use, and that support needs would be minimal.
A reaction shared by many!
I am looking forward to implementing this tool for classroom educators in our system. Now, I wonder what the next WRDSB hosted GAFE Summit will look like?
Today started with a great conversation over breakfast. I was sitting with Harry Niezen, Donna Fry and George Couros. The question on the table was who are the big names to follow in education these days?
Photo from http://goo.gl/EG8KAi
After some healthy discussion, of a few of the traditional big names the conversation drifted to a new perspective. Why do we need to focus on the “big names”? Many educators are bloggers. These educators are openly sharing ideas, reflections, visions and questions.
Why would we pay attention to one perspective? Why not read, share, comment and reflect on the viewpoints of active connected educators who are putting their thinking ‘out there’ for everyone to access?
Where do you stand? The one (or few) or the many?
Share your comments here or connect on Twitter.
This post is a cross post from my original in the OSSEMOOC June 2014, 30 days of collaborative blogging “Picture and Post” series.
In some ways, this picture says it all.
On the other hand, maybe not.
I think the real question is: what does is look like in the classroom? – or the work place for that matter. Rows of cubicles are no different than rows of desks. Learning, and collaborating, in messy mode requires a shift.
How do we build greater comfort and capacity to let go, let the messiness happen and let the students/staff benefit from less control and increased socialization?
Please share. What does this look like, sound like and feel like in your classroom or work space?
As things continue to evolve in education, I have been very encouraged by continued and growing dialogue around the importance of sharing professional practice(s), resources and personal reflections. I support this thinking and practice whole heartedly.
However, from my perspective, there is a BUT. Make that a giant
I am concerned that many of these conversations continue with the notion that some private structure or service should be created to house this information.
Sharing should be personalized! — put your thoughts, reflections and ideas ON YOUR OWN BLOG. Allow the global community of educators the privilege of searching, finding, reading, re-reading, sharing, curating, linking and commenting on your blog posts.
Your thinking MATTERS. Period.
Not blogging yet? Sign up for one today.
Want to change practice and blog with other educators? Watch the OSSEMOOC website for opportunities this fall.