Learning Together with GHO

One of the highlights from my week was participating in a “mystery hangout”.   This particular (Google) hangout had an interesting twist with teachers and students learning together and collaboratively.

The Plan:   leveraged her PLN twitter connections with  Donna Fry and me to develop a plan to give the G Suite (Google Apps) lead teachers in  Rainbow DSB  a hands on experience with Google Hangouts to demonstrate the learning, collaboration and problem solving that can occur in this setting.  After a call for participants, we firmed up the the Rainbow DSB GAFE lead teachers as one team, and  Tania Bumstead’s  Vista Hills P. S. class as the other team.  Alison Bullock  and I played an online support role in the process as fact checkers and communication with each team lead.

Team Vista Hills

Team Rainbow (screen capture)
ghomystery

The task was for each team to determine the location of the other team through a series of yes/no questions.

The experience:  When it came time for he actual event, Heather connected everyone into the Google Hangout, and we were ready for a 45 minute learning situation, beginning with some introductions.  The Vista Hills class worked in groups to tackle the tasks – receiving answers from team Rainbow, interpreting them and tracking them on Google maps.  Another team generated potential questions and determined which question should be asked next. A third team interacted with team Rainbow and posed the questions.  The excitement in the room was high, and there was a steady buzz throughout the session.

I was fascinated with the ingenious yes/no questions asked by the two teams as they working through the process of solving the geography puzzle in front of them.   Are you located

  • in Canada
  • east of the Manitoba/Ontario border
  • in the eastern standard time zone
  • within 100 km of Algonquin Park
  • west of the GTA
  • located north of the 402/403 highway corridor
  • east of the escarpment
  • in a city with a population over 100,000
  • within 50 km of Lake Huron

and finally, team Rainbow asked: are you located in KW?  Team Vista Hills pressed on and with a couple more questions and one hint, determined team Rainbow was on Manitoulin Island.

It was evident to me that a great learning experience had been enjoyed by all, and that more mystery hangouts will occur in the future. Thanks to all the learners who participated in this event!

~Mark
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AI and You

As I settle into my new retirement/flex time groove, I am dedicating more time to reading, listening and learning from blogs, podcasts and video channels as I find tuning in “on the ground” to learn and reflect with people who openly share really rewarding.

The great find this week was a CBC podcast titled “The Dangers of an Insular Web”.   The podcast digs into some important challenges of curating information in a personalized way in our digital online society.   Without giving away the details of the interesting panel discussion,  if these elements of digital communications tickle your interest, then this podcast is for you.

  • open internet
  • participatory internet culture
  • impact of smart phones and apps, power of geo location to personalize info
  • triangulation:   tech companies, data, personal use/habits
  • triangulation:   AI, algorithms, full user control and
  • personalizing is a dual edged sword

Social Media Information Overload

Whether you are a heavy digital communicator,  new to this arena or perhaps a teacher considering media literacies,   I am sure you will find this podcast raises your awareness and  stimulates your thinking.

Live link to the CBC podcast:
Screened Off: The dangers of an insular web

As always, please consider sharing your learning and thinking through a comment here or connect on  twitter.

~Mark
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Graphic credit:  creative commons license from Flickr user Intersection Consulting .  

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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