Category Archives: PD

WRDSB SSPD Resources

Today’s post shares the resources from the “Ready to Get Social” session I presented with  Mary Hingley  at the WRDSB SSPD session.

~Mark
markicon2

Advertisements

We Dared to Dream

Five years ago, we dared to dream – created our first teacher support role dedicated to focusing on in servicing and supporting elementary teachers to use educational technology in the most effective ways.   It seemed like the right approach, at the right time to forge a new path forward, create interest, synergy, and impact the future.  Susan Watt was the successful candidate for the position – and the journey began!

palmtrees

Standing now in 2015, and looking back,  what a journey it has been.  A new path was definitely forged.  I look back fondly on all of the annual “system tours” as they were affectionately known – professional learning for staff at each school — using a dual boot Mac, what can I do with an iPad, we have wifi hotspots – now what, wifi in the classroom, GAFE, chromebooks, dropbox and more.   Another important project was migrating our acceptable use procedure (AUP) to the responsible use procedure (RUP) where our initial thinking about staff as digital citizenship role models and use of social media for positive purposes was captured.  I could of course, list many more highlights, but you have the idea of system impact.

SWatt

In her retirement speech, Susan challenged her colleagues:  “ So, I have some advice for our retiree supporters tonight: go off script, listen and respond to your students’ spontaneous questions and observations. Understand that every moment is teachable. Don’t settle for the status quo. If it doesn’t feel good for kids, challenge it. If it’s being done a certain way just because it’s always been done that way – question that rationale. Follow your heart and intuition.  Explore new options. Take a risk. Embrace change.

Susan, it has been a privilege to work with you.  Thank you for your creativity, determination, enthusiasm, ability to see a big picture, having a huge positive impact, and, perhaps most of all,  daring to dream.

planewing

I look forward to staying connected and following along your life journey via your  new blog:  Watts Up Next. Thank YOU!

~Mark

Leveraging the Room

Last week I had the opportunity to attend an OASBO session where the main topic was succession planning.  The discussion started with considering communication processes in a simply way:  transmitters and receivers.

Now, move this idea to a mentor/coaching relationship between two people.  We were asked to divide ourselves into groups of three to tackle the task of listing attributes you would want to have in your mentor/coach.

crowd_source

         Image via www.socialbrite.org

I decided to see what would happen if we crowd sourced answers to this question. I popped the question out onto twitter hoping that some of my PLN would spot the request and take a moment to respond. The plan worked great as I received a number of responses during the work time allotted.

By happenstance our group was chosen to report back first.  One of my colleagues reported back on our strategy.  I wished I had recorded the reaction in the room as our approach was described (gasp, shock, what?, we didn’t ‘do the work’, you can’t do that). The guest presenter went with the situation as he was quite interested in our approach.

what they said 2

          Image via: chesapeakeadd.com

Here are the PLN responses to the question:  What makes a good mentor/coach?

  • engagement
  • vision
  • empathy
  • credibility
  • respect for the people they lead
  • active listener
  • humility
  • courage
  • geniousness
  • openness
  • accessible
  • transparent (honest, no hidden agendas)
  • relationship builder

People were impressed with the quality of thoughtful responses of the  PLN generated answers.  Additional responses from the session members included knowledge, flexible, sympathy, empathy and show confidence in others.

The facilitator added

  • being a sounding board (note importance of just listening … (you don’t always need an answer)
  • an objective view: a fresh set of eyes and
  • accountability in process

All in all a great list of important qualities for a mentor or coach to have.  Plus, it was a great impromptu demonstration of leveraging yourPLN.

Many thanks to PLN members   @EdDoadt,   @KentManning,  @ispgrew,  @alanacallan,   @mstayica,   @sheilashauf,  @fryed,  @jp_payeur,  @heidi_hobson and  @LAndriessen  for taking time to respond and contribute to a great learning experience.

~Mark

WRDSB hosted GAFE Summit

The Waterloo Region District School Board will host their 3rd annual summit in April 2015.

EdTech

This will be a 4 day event with the following schedule:

Thursday April 9:  Ontario GAFE Technical Community meeting
Friday April 10: Boot Camp courses
Saturday April 11th and Sunday April 12th: GAFE Summit with the EdTech Team.

Details are online at WRDSB hosted GAFE Summit.

Join us for a great professional learning opportunity.

EdTech Logo

 

~Mark

Quest 2014: Innovative Practices

Last week I had the privilege of participating on a panel discussion at the YRDSB’s Quest conference  with Lewis Morgulis (DCDSB) and Russ Coles (YRDSB).  The panel was  moderated by Margaret Roberts (YRDSB).  I appreciate that, with permission,  we were able to livestream and record the session to offer a virtual learning opportunity to other interested educators.

Quest2014_logo

The panel discussion was centred around four guiding questions:

  • What is innovation in a K-12 context?
  • Share an example where innovation has been successfully implemented?
  • What were the elements that made your example successful?
  • What were the challenges?

Watch the panel session.

Following the panel discussion, participants engaged in table discussion guided by the question and statement  set below.

  • What does innovation look like, sound like, feel like?
  • share personal examples
  • How do you engage staff that are resistant to change?
  • How do you build a culture where change is accepted and embraced?
  • Identify barriers and potential solutions

Participants also added comments, ideas and questions to a Today’s Meeting back channel.  I have shared three quotes that resonated with me below.

Russ: thinking outside the box while living in the box

Mary-Anne: innovation starts when we stop accepting the status quo

Donna Miller Fry: (virtually from TBay)  Innovation requires a willingness to be distrubed by M. Wheatley

Do you find these quotes & ideas intriguing?   Check out the full session transcript  [here]  from the Todays Meet  collaboration space.

The closing comment spoke for itself:  As a result of your learning today, what would you do to start to implement this in your own context?

Please share your innovation ideas!

~Mark

Virtual Learning via Quest

This week I have the opportunity to participate at the annual York Region DSB Quest conference on a panel discussion. Our topic is promoting innovative practices.   I have received permission to livestream the panel session Thursday November 20th 2:15-3:45 p.m. EST  to allow for virtual learning opportunities.

The live video stream event will be listed  [here].  (Note: free account needed for viewing) .  There  is a Today’s meet back channel available  at Promoting Innovative Practice.

Session details:

Quest2014-1

Quest2014B06-2

Additional information about the  Quest Conference.
Follow the Quest twitter stream.

I hope you can join us.

~Mark

 

Jump Start Your 14-15 Professional Learning

As your school year schedule settles in and your thoughts drift to incorporating professional learning, there are many great opportunities happening in Ontario.

ossemooc_logo

OSSEMOOC  launches a mini course series (“mini-moocs”) this week featuring a presentation by Brenda Sherry and Peter LeBlanc on Wednesday Sept. 24th. Details are [here].

Perhaps attending an Ed Camp is on your list to experience.  Never been to an Ed Camp?   Check out these Ed Camp related  blog posts by  Donna Miller Fry  to get a good sense of what to expect.

EdCampBarrie

Ed Camp Barrie, one of several Ed Camps in Ontario this year,  is running on Saturday September 27th.  Registration and other details are available at the  EdCamp Barrie web site.  If you can’t attend in person and are interested in participating as a virtual learner follow the  #edcampbarrie  Twitter stream and watch for details about  live-streaming of select sessions.

BIT14

A little farther down the road, plan to attend  Bring It Together 2014, the jointly offered Ed Tech conference offered by ECOO and OASBO ICT.  The conference is running November 5th-7th.

Enjoy your professional learning journey.

~Mark