Category Archives: Connected Learning

CNIE 2017 Presentation Resource

I enjoyed the opportunity to present  The Art of Teaching in a Fast-Changing World  yesterday with  Alison Bullock  at the CNIE 2017 conference in Banff.   Our session resources are included in this post.

Video of Presentation:

~Mark

#GAFEsummit London Session Resource

Today’s post shares my resource prepared for #gafesummit London ON (May 28/29, 2016. It was a great day of learning, making new connections and of course had many of those special ‘sparkle’ moments when you meet an online connection face to face for the first time. This particular summit had a special connection for me as a Saunders SS graduate.

gafesummit_london_Saunders

Resources:

~Mark
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Let Them Choose

During my ongoing curation of articles about learning, digital tools and social media, I recently came across this article exploring perspectives on  social media in the lecture theatres.  Although the article was primarily examining post secondary perspectives, I would argue the same discussions are relevant in K12. The discussion was centred around various viewpoints on whether or not students:

  • be allowed (by profs) to bring technology to class
  • are distracted by having access to social media  and
  • experience benefits?

Two interviewees interviewed commented that “… because the students are most likely taking notes. Many don’t use pen and paper, and rely on their devices. She says students are old enough to decide if they are to learn or not.” andMy view is they are old enough to choose and multitask (and choose to fail too),“. Meanwhile, others choose to dictate “no access”.

SM choices

Now, if I put a personal perspective on this and let you observe my learning mode,  this is what you would see. Typically I use 2 devices … taking notes on my iPad using notability – not just for notes – adding audio recording, and insert photos for context for a more complete package.  On the second device I organize lists, todos, ideas and share via social media, typically Twitter but this could easily be a Facebook group, G+ community, LinkedIn or open Google doc. I reiterate – this is MY style. This is how I learn best. Paper and pen doesn’t work for me.

device choice

Why not let students choose what works best for them – student voice. To me,  letting students choose what tools they use and how they organize shows a strength based approach to student learning. What benefit is there in forcing students to function in a way that may not be self directed and self optimized?

Weigh in:  Where do you stand?

~Mark

Learning With Passion

Learn with passion. Follow your dreams. What could be better?

Earlier this week I had the privilege of seeing this in action at my school board.  One of our students has always dreamed of working at a technology company – and specifically the Apple Store in this case. The student self initiated the process of how to prepare a resume, researched it, obtained feedback from his teacher and arranged delivery of his resume.

Now, you might think this sounds fairly typical at this point BUT,  it is important to know that this particular student is 5!!! Here is a little excerpt from his resume.

J-resume2

Hats off to teacher Aaron Fewkes  (@mrfewkes) and our local Apple Store team for pulling together a fabulous afternoon of passion based learning for our student Jack where he received a heartfelt greeting, met staff, toured behind the scenes and had a chance to experience and demonstrate the latest technology.

J-excited

Aaron had arranged for Jack to skype with his class to share his experience live from the store.

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With some collaborative teamwork with the onsite staff, Jack shares his experience.

You can also check out the storify version of the twitter action of #jacksbigday.

Make every day count: Learn with passion. Follow your dreams.

~Mark

The Importance of Now and Next

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Last fall I can remember sitting in a Starbucks with Donna Fry working on our  OSSEMOOC  project, and talking passionately about the importance of being “present” – living life in the moment and explicitly doing the best thing possible in that moment:  listen, understand, suggest, advise, coach, act …  you get the picture.   I don’t recall specifically how we got onto the topic, but the importance of the conversation stayed with me.  This is a choice,  a way of living, a way to interact with people.   That is the “now”.

StarbucksLogo

In his recent address to Microsoft employees on the 40th anniversary of  the company, Bill Gates restated his views on the importance of making  “the power of technology accessible to everyone, connect people to each other and make personal computing available everywhere.” 

And then, there it was – a very powerful quote:  “What matters most is what we do next”  he wrote. Let that sink in:  What matters most is what we do next.

Lets take a moment to frame the importance of now & next in terms of our GAFE Summit experience this weekend.

Clock-now

Be in the moment – learn, experiment, play, document,  ask and savour the joy of learning.

Clock-next

What will you do to

  • keep a new connection
  • document your learning
  • share your reflections
  • change your practice
  • make your learning visible and/or
  • nurture those around you?

It is up to you.  What is your  NEXT?

~Mark

Resources:   Read Bill Gates email address to Microsoft employees email address.

 

 

uLead15 Keynote reflections

The kickoff to the uLead 2015 conference was spectacular: over 800 educators at a great venue with Simon Breakspear and Abdul Chohan keynoting.

Simon focused on 3 keys for critical change:

  • Design Learning Futures
  • Embrace Radical Collaboration and
  • NEVER stop learning.

I am keen to reflect on this framework and see what else I can learn about the approach.

Now, how many times have we heard the “never stop learning” or “life long learners” messaging.  The giant  BUT  is you HAVE to LIVE it – lip service doesn’t make the grade.  Not only can we never stop learning, but we have to take things to the next level:  connected learning, a commitment to sharing and making your thinking visible.

Are you up for the challenge?

I really enjoyed hearing Abdul’s story and appreciated the learnings he shared.  Some personal highlights include:

  • theories of action do not equal a well understood vision
  • technology allows us to do things we just could not do before – in all walks of life.  Why resist this in education?
  • go beyond substitution to redefine (#SAMR thinking)
  • leading change: build community, secure accountability, manage process, develop the people and secure with vision
  • Simple, reliable and equitable technology is ESSENTIAL
  • increasing planned coincidences
  • take it global
  • the challenge of taking the complex and making it simple

EasyButton

The highlighting of the easy button approach to technology really resonates with me. Complexity drives people away which means the flow between F2F, online, and digital resources is broken … the chance to do something that was not previously possible (#SAMR) is gone or at least unlikely.  Simplicity, reliability, equitable access and sufficient bandwidth are requirements.  I think this aligns with the ideas of Digital Inclusion.

Finally, a few tweets to give you a flavour of the learning and sharing. Check out the full stream at  #ulead15.

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and … Abdul’s closing challenge.

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~Mark

Remix – Connect – Challenge

As educators, we ofter hear that the  plan, act, assess, reflect (PAAR) cycle promoted as excellent professional practice.  Extend this to an online context:  the importance of sharing, telling your story, learning from each other (the smartest person in the room is the room),  building relationships,  leveraging online connections and opportunities and finally using technology tools to facilitate this process (don’t just focus on the technology itself),

I was struck by my reading experience this morning.  Call it what you will: growing awareness, synchronicity, convergence, coincidence  or perhaps some other term of your choice, but there certainly was an emerging theme.

remix

First,  I see an interesting Facebook post by Patrick Larkin,  a valued member of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) highlighting a position on school and system leader technology use by  George Couros.  George concluded is blog post with this powerful question: If the purposeful use of technology can enhance or accelerate those ideas above, shouldn’t more leaders look at how these tools can be used in their own practice?   Got you thinking?  Read George’s thoughts [here].

As I finish reading George’s article,  an alert pops up that a new OSSEMOOC  post called  How Do We Get There From Here?  has gone live. Perfect timing Donna.  Intrigued by the title, I decide to take a quick look. Talk about timely.

Leaders_Tech_good_bad.

You will have to read the post (How Do We Get There From Here?) to see the list 🙂

Now,  back to catching up on Facebook happenings … where did I leave off?   Timely:  Kathi Smith  has re-shared a Leonard Nimoy quote that really resonates with all of the reading I just finished.  Perfect!

spock_share

In some of my earlier thinking about this topic, I wrote “Allow the global community of educators the privilege of searching, finding, reading, re-reading, sharing, curating, linking and commenting on your blog posts.”  Read my full blog post:  Just Make It Public.

Consider your role in learning from other educators.  Take the challenge and make Spock proud!

Additional Resources

… from OSSEMOOC and Dean Shareski.

~Mark