The month’s On the Rise K12 conference was very worthwhile. I was impressed with the level of learning, sharing and reflecting. Some of my highlights included:
- Meeting Desire2Learn owner John Baker for the first time and noting the focus on product improvement
- Listening to the excellent and thought provoking presentation by HWDSB Director John Malloy
- connecting with so many passionate educators and
- the awesome post conference discussion with Harry Niezen, Donna Fry, Stacey Wallwin and Colleen Rose.
There was a notable energy during the event which continued right through to the last session. I attended an identifying barriers and moving forward session. It was quite interesting to listen to the various challenges raised:
- great admin support, but teachers are resisting change
- wonderful grass roots energy to change, need more admin support
- interest and participation in blended learning is growing but bandwidth capacity is an issue
- need more wifi coverage
All in all, it was a great passionate discussion by caring educators. Upon reflection, the things that really resonated with me were:
- it is critical to continue investment into bandwidth (internal and internet) and stay ahead of the need
- I believe leveraging access by including BYOD as part of the mix is important
- the grass roots up/top down needs to become a planned path with expectations and annual goals
- continue to focus solving problems and sharing solutions
There are 2 more critical pieces to the puzzle in my mind. There are a wealth of teachers who already use many web 2.0 and social media tools as part of their instructional practice in curriculum delivery. I seems to me, a plan is needed to bring this body of ‘casual’ blended learning into the D2L portal used by the Ministry of Education. Part of this plan would address the need for an easy path to connect existing resources used in the casual approach into D2L – a transition, not a do over for teachers. Secondly, the D2L environment needs to be “lego like” — easy to snap outside resources into the portal and minimizing the need for custom interfaces or complicated conversions.
Conference Twitter chat stream
Presentation: The Traditional Classroom by Diana Hughes
Reflections from Donna Fry
Colleen Rose’s Reflection
OTRK12 Part 1 by Ferdinand Krauss
OTRK12 Part 2 by Ferdinand Krauss
Reflections from Brandon Grasley
I look forward to attending next year’s event.