Just ask your PLN

The  other night I was catching up on Twitter reading when I came across this tweet from Carina, reaching out to her PLN for some input.


I decided to take action and retweet the request.


Within 5 minutes, responses from  Lee Anne  and  Donna  were posted.



A couple of hours later,  Brandon added a third book to the suggestion list.


This is a  wonderful  example of connected learning through your PLN. Great suggestions for reading material were made to Carina,  but all who follow the discussion benefit.

Keep connecting, and keep contributing to the learning of others.


Digital Citizenship Through Connected Learning

This tweet from  @ScottMcKenzie27  caught my attention this week.

The approach Scott is taking with digital citizenship in his classroom really brings it to life through relationships,  conversation, collaboration and a real world connected learning experience.


Thank you for sharing your work and learning openly Scott.


Note: Cross post to OSSEMOOC

Digital Learning Carousel Reflections

I had the pleasure of attending the  WRDSB  Digital Learning Carousel event today along with 400 educators and students from our Board. The event provided opportunity to share our collective insights around digital learning,  changing practice and planning next steps forward for our organization.  The carousel sessions I attended included online novel studies, innovative practices with math, inquiry approaches and the Futures Forum program.

Three aspects of the day really struck me.  The positive feedback on the interest in using Google Apps for Educators (GAFE) and the high rate of adoption on our roll out was awesome.  Secondly, I was intrigued to hear some of the educators sharing the benefits of enough technology to support small group instruction over a 1:1 approach. The ‘just enough’ model allows technology to be used as a learning support as needed while fostering opportunities for interaction, conversation and sharing.   A 1:1 approach can result in students being self focused or isolated. This feedback validates our decision to roll out our iPad program in a way that avoided convenient the “portable lab pack” allocation. Finally, so many discussions touched on the idea of the right mobile tool for the learning, teaching or assessment task at hand. I felt proud that our  IT department is deploying and supporting iPads,  Chromebooks and Windows mobile devices to support learning at WRDSB.


My Session Highlights

The online novel study group talked extensively about taking a proactive approach to digital citizenship before moving into online activities. Their approach included googling yourself to find out what is actually online, reputation management, managing your digital presence and building relationships. Tools used in this program included Google Apps for Educators, Today’s meet, blogging, skype and collaborative web page designs.  An impressive approach indeed!

In the math innovative practices session, I noted that educators were really digging into teaching collaboration skills. What does collaboration look like, sound like, feel like? “Look fors” would include accountable talk, building on the ideas of others to highlight two attributes. Digital tools used in this program included Explain Everything, GAFE, GeoBoard, Notability and iMotion.

The inquiry stream focused on the relationship of two key elements:

1.  What do students need to learn and what do I need to learn as a teacher?
2.  If I do this as a teacher, then students …

The final session featured the Futures Forum program, which I am very familiar with due to my involvement with the program. Presenters emphasized the importance of a growth mindset for both staff and students. The approach used this year involving SparKW really engaged the students in a meaningful way.

Clearly,  all of the presenters I saw today demonstrated a high level of professionalism and a growth mind set. Thank you for sharing your learnings!


We Need Your Voice

Have your say!!!  

Tonight,  Monday May 26th (8:00 – 9:00 p.m. EDT),   you will have an opportunity to learn more about the  OSAPAC  project on  digital citizenship resources  and provide feedback to the project team.

The  online meeting room  will be open at 7:30 p.m. EDT.  If you are joining us for the first time,   please allow a few extra minutes to allow for the necessary downloads (plugins).

We look forward to connecting with you.  Please pass this invite along.  



Connect2014 Reflections

The day I spent at  Connect2014  last week was very valuable. I really enjoyed reconnecting F2F with so many online colleagues at  Dean Shareski’s  session where he lead a two hour in depth discussion on the topic of connected learning.

The discussion was rich as educators shared personal stories of making connections, the impact of the connections in terms of learning, sharing, collaboration and changed practice – talk about POWERFUL!!!

One idea that captured my interest from the session was the idea of recording a learning or change and attributing the connection that “made it happen”.  Attendees joined forces to illustrate the power of helping people with professional learning this video which was produced that day during our time together.


Learn, connect, reflect and share !!!


EOIT2014 resources and reflections

I enjoyed my recent opportunity to present a session on ever changing EdTech world in K12  education at EOIT2014.  Three points from the various conversations over the day captured my attention.

Limestone DSB,  CIO Wayne Toms described how becoming active on Twitter has “changed his  approach to PD forever”.   He emphasized the importance of having access to a stream of current information and thinking to shape one’s perspective underscoring the importance of connected learning.

If fact,  this coming weekend,  two Ontario based EdCamps  are happening on May 10th as per the  “Tweet captures” below.  Connected learners can participate by following  #edcampsault  and  #edcampisland.



IT  leaders  Ron Plaizier and James Proulx  openly discussed the challenges of “all the moving pieces” – technology changing at a rate much faster than classroom practices shift and support models can be adapted.  There are no easy answers. The best strategy is to bring people together for conversation and time to play in this “change space”.  Agreed!

The third conversation focused on a notion I would call the  software “power” gap – the difference in capability when comparing a desktop application version against the corresponding web version.  This power gap differential exists in many applications.  In my view, the critical piece of this puzzle is at the intersection of  desktop > mobile, local > cloud and minimal NEEDed functionality vs extra features.  One “crystal ball” question is how long might it take to reach the ideal cloud based offering of a particular application?

I also wanted to share of few highlights from the back channel related to “What is the most important aspect of your work?”

TodaysMeetParticipants stated:






Related Resources

View  presentation  file

Twitter chat for  #EOIT2014

Blog articles related to the  Futures Forum  project.

Blog articles on the  SAMR  model.

Scoop.it articles on  SAMR



Reflections on a Collaborative Blogging Project

It was a pleasure for me  to co-author today’s blog post  with  Donna Miller Fry.   In this post,  we share our amazing experiences with the  OSSEMOOC:  30 days of learning in Ontario collaborative blogging  project.

Enjoy reading our reflections  [here].