Reflecting on Openness

Educon 2.6 got off to a great start tonight with the panel discussion on creating a more open and transparent world. As anticipated, the excellent panel presented a variety of views and thoughtful insights. I thought I would share a few points in an effort to encourage you to reflect on some of the points raised in the discussion.

  • Define openness.  What does this mean?   What are the different contexts?
  • Learners or students?
  • Valuing connnectedness
  • badges rather than marks/grades/pass. What might this mean for  future employers? higher ed?
  • MOOCs – making them really work and not continuing old patterns
  • vulnerability
  • technology to enable learning – it is all about HOW we use it

I have selected a few tweets from the 100’s that were posted that connect to these points.

E1

E2

E3

E4

E5

E6

E7

E8

E9

E10

Will your reflections lead to change? renewed commitment to “the cause”? improved practice? attention to nurturing those around you? a more open approach? It is your journey. Make it worthy of the best student learning possible.

~Mark

Advertisements

K12 Data Classification

Today’s Google Hangout: a data classification with Sandra Vieira and Lorie Hough.

Reference Chart

data classification

Setting the Stage for Digital Inclusion

I am always amazed at how time to reflect changes what eventually ends up in a blog post.  This post is a great example of this notion as I originally thought I might write about these topics in different posts, but now I  think the ideas are more powerful together.

I had the privilege of attending and presenting at the  1:1 Computing Conference  this fall with  Ed Doadt.  It was great to meet so many passionate educators at the event. Two ideas from this conference really struck me.

First, I was amazed at the high number of schools/districts that were declaring “singular”  IT strategies: we use ONLY iOS or win 7/8 or  chromebooks or BYOD devices.  This is an all in approach with no flexibility or notion that different devices have different strengths/weaknesses, that students will have varying comfort levels with different devices, that technology will continue to develop and change at a torrid pace never experienced before or that a variety of devices might be a better fit to support learning.  I feel strongly that our approach at  WRDSB  to use and support a variety of devices  to support learning will yield better results than a singular strategy approach.

Secondly, I was really taken by the keynote presentation by  Alicia Banuelos   outlining the powerful state of digital inclusion – a community approach to full wifi coverage for the San Luis community in Argentina – schools and community, access for all students and community members. The work to build access for all is based on the idea that those without access will have less opportunity to: learn, work, develop networks (people connections) and lead productive lives.  A very powerful idea indeed.  Since hearing this presentation and meeting Alicia, I have been reflecting on what this would mean in an Ontario context.

ontario-map1

A few months ago, the Ontario K12 IT Leaders authored the  Manifesto for 21C Learning  document outlining the need for a powerful Ontario provincial network (meaning internet & WAN) to support not only K12 needs, but an infrastructure that would create opportunities for learning, working, business and innovation with an eye to need, scalability and sustainability – digital inclusion  for Ontario residents.

I typically listen to  Craig Norris  on  CBC KW  on my drive into work. On a recent show, Craig was hosting an interview about business investments in the area of transportation between Toronto and the KW area and how that would be beneficial to facilitate business opportunities in the technology area. While listening to the show, I couldn’t help but think about the opportunities that would come from investing in an Ontario network. Now, one can not deny the initial large investment (some estimates of over $2B have been estimated) that would be involved to truly achieve a state of  digital inclusion of this magnitude. Yet, this seems like such an important need, how can we afford to avoid tackling it?

fibreoptic_cable1

I believe a high speed provincial network an achievable goal, and that the money is around, but you must  THINK  differently.  The money would need redirecting. Consider the annual profit margins in the banking and financial sectors.  Perhaps a pension plan (teachers?) investment could be part of the solution.  Strategic partnerships.  JUST  BE  CREATIVE.

Achieving this goal would:

  • recognize this as a critical need,  rather than an  item on a political agenda
  • be for all Ontario citizens and
  • be affordable.

I believe achieving this is about collective will,  and not “what if”.   What does a future Ontario look like to you?

~Mark

Sunset, Sunrise

CATCcamp_sunset

As one year closes out and a new one begins, it seems to be a natural time for reflection.  With 2013 rolling into 2014, I read this insightful blog post titled   The Sun Rises on a New Year   by  Donna Fry.  Three aspects of Donna’s post really resonated with me and I believe they are worthy of some personal reflection time.

1. The acknowledgement of the importance and value of developing and interacting with your Personal Learning Network  (PLN).

2.  I like that Donna pointed out that even in the diverse, interactive and collaborative online world, it is possible to get comfortable with your PLN.  It is important to have enough diversity in your PLN to keep your thinking challenged and fresh. To me, this is a great example of being purposeful of establishing and leveraging your PLN to support a growth mindset.  We need to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable!

3. Identifying  where spending your time will have great impact. This might mean balancing online and F2F times in new ways.  Be thoughtful about how you nurture and influence those around you.  Part of the nurturing process is bringing people into the online world in a meaningful way and helping them get enough traction to to be independent on their own learning journey.

My challenge to you:  How might these ideas influence your actions this year?   I would enjoy  learning about your reflections on this topic, so feel free to leave a comment here or on Donna’s  original post, share a comment on Twitter or consider blogging about your own thoughts.

~Mark