Moffat Creek Coding Clubs

As part of my Virtual Coffee Shop blog theme, I was fortunate to connect on site with  Moffat Creek P.S.  teacher Jason Riddell  in December to check out the action at one of the school coding clubs.

The approach used by Mr. Riddell embraces a variety of important elements including: age appropriate options,  student choice, coding options and challenge.

I happened to attend on dinosaur capture challenge day.  Check out the action and interview with Mr. Riddell in this video I created based on my visit.

Happy learning.  Happy coding.

~Mark
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One Word ONT 2017

I have been thinking about my “one word” response in anticipation of the annual blogging challenge led by Julie Balen.   I have always enjoyed the contemplation and challenge of zeroing in on one element of focus for a year.  (continued below graphic)

My personal landscape has changed as I transitioned from a school board employee (CIO at WRDSB) to retiree (Oct. 31) to exploring independent work.  As I experience this transition,  consider options and contemplate what a new,  more flexible way of remaining active in the learning and ed-tech spaces, as well as looking at experiencing new things, many things jump out:  remaining active, rebalance, recognizing that my desire to continue in these spaces is alive and well,  flex time,  more music, new ways to be involved in community (local and online), new experiences,  what stays, what goes …. the mulling continues and I am sure it will continue for a while.

What I do know is that without understanding what exactly my future looks like, or how time is rebalanced, I want my time to matter, I want to make a difference.  I have landed on selecting “impactful” as my 2017 one word.  My personal journey will be to explore ways to be impactful within a new flexible and rebalanced context.

Let the journey begin!

~Mark
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Knowledge Mobilization Context – a response

A couple of weeks ago  Donna Miller Fry  blogged about open education leadership, exploring the question: Is knowledge more rapidly mobilized through the system when leaders work openly?

Her post begins “For the purposes of my work, I am considering personal professional openness – the concept of sharing thinking and learning in open spaces, curating resources for others, engaging in open conversations in text or through broadcast technologies like podcasts, videos and YouTube Live, blogging and commenting on blogs, and participating across the educational boundaries in wider conversations across the web. Working open” means different things in different contexts …”   You can read Donna’s full blog post [here] .

In my view, this is a well written post, and as is typical of Donna, she invites further comment and discussion.  I have been mulling over my thinking on this topic since reading the post and decided to share my response as another blog post.

I fully believe in open learning, sharing and question asking,  and do my best to model this in my own practice.  My experience, and I believe that of many, is that the personal value of being a connected professional, connected learner, and engaged in global conversations is truly boundless learning.  Yet, Donna’s post has prompted me to do some deeper thinking about context of open learning and knowledge mobilization.

My thinking on this has moved to a triangulation model of open learning, conditions & culture  and purpose/focus with knowledge mobilization at the centre.

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The question for me is what brings knowledge mobilization to life beyond personal growth and interest?

openness: sharing thinking, learning and questions openly – publicly in digital forums

conditions & culture: innovation and creativity – an interest and receptiveness in moving positions and growth

focus: alignment to a purpose or goal  (beyond self)

Applying knowledge mobilization strategies to system
system change is often a task faced by large organizations, including school boards.  The open learning model that Donna describes in her post I believe is a key element in change:  learning openly from others, leveraging the “global room” of the digital world,  bringing new ideas and  experiences to the table,  challenging  and adjusting thinking and landing solidly on the right place to promote, activate and execute system change.

Mobilizing knowledge through to a system requires a certain receptiveness, a level of readiness, a plan.  In my view, a culture that embraces innovation and creativity is needed or must be created to truly embrace change.  This process takes time, but is important. If this is missing, the pace of change – time needed for the process will undoubtedly be extended, perhaps less impactful or worse, not achieved at all.

Finally, meshing open learning to a culture of change, innovation and creativity then applying it to a strategic focus or goal amplifies the entire process.  The strategic focus may be drastic such as a company reinventing itself to “stay alive” in the business world, or perhaps the focus is change one or more elements in an education system. No the less, understanding the need and target for the change process must be well understood.

I believe the triangulation approach creates purpose and amplification for planned change.

Your thoughts?

~Mark
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Future Orienting Libraries

Today I spent some time with WCI librarians Carlo Fusco and Leah Crowell discussion how they have Future Oriented the school library.  In our discussion, we explored 5 areas of interest and impact which were determined in a previous visit.

  1. Transforming Libraries
  2. Leveraging Multi Media
  3. The impact of 1:1
  4. Visioning the changing world of the teacher
  5. Shifting to device agnostic spaces

Carlo and Leah, thank you for sharing your learning, visioning, and change process.

Interview in 3D video:

Interview in 2D video:

Audio Podcast:

Students I chatted with at the school were very positive about the continued evolvement and current status of the future oriented thinking about the library space to service student learning needs.

Connect on twitter: @mrfusco  and  @WCILibrary.

~Mark
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Coding with Spheros

Tuesday night I had an opportunity to support WRDSB teachers Scott McKenzie and Megan Lowe at their Coding with Spheros workshop. I appreciate their willingness to share their learning and workshop materials openly through a live streaming broadcast and video recording. The workshop provided a solid instructional framework for curriculum context, activities, problem solving and collaboration.

This version of the video is the presentation portion of the workshop (35 minutes). Markers have been placed in the video to highlight the sub topics.

Presentation slide deck .

This version of the video includes the informal discussions of the “hands on” activities. Markers have been placed in the video for easy scrub through.

Connect on twitter with Scott and Megan

~Mark
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The Connected Classroom with Tania Bumstead

As part of the recent WRDSB Digital Learning Symposium,  teachers presented 20 minute sessions as part of  the breakout offerings.

I was fortunate to attend Tania Bumstead’s presentation  where she shared her experiences and insights on the  journey of  turning her classroom into a connected learning space.   In the presentation Tania highlights the value of an online personal learning network (PLN) through twitter,  collaborative work for students, taking risks and valuing new approaches.

Enjoy the presentation.

Connect with Tania on Twitter.

Many thanks to Tania and her students for sharing their experiences.

~Mark
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Genius Hour Insights

As part of the recent WRDSB Digital Learning Symposium,  teachers presented 20 minute sessions as part of  the breakout offerings.

I was impressed with Andrea Stephen’s session where she shared insights on her journey of including Genius Hour as part of the learning experience in her classroom.

I think you will find her approach and insights on building student comfort in less structured learning, evolving ideas, considering audience, building on failures and assessment.

Connect with Andrea on  twitter.

Thanks for sharing your learning Andrea!

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

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