Category Archives: PLN

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

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

Learning at CATC Camp Day 3

~Mark

Learning at CATC Camp Day 2

~Mark

Important Voices

Today started with a great conversation over breakfast.  I was sitting with Harry Niezen,  Donna Fry and  George Couros.  The question on the table was who are the big names to follow in education these days?

social_interactions     Photo from http://goo.gl/EG8KAi

After some healthy discussion, of a few of the traditional big names the conversation drifted to a new perspective. Why do we need to focus on the “big names”?   Many educators are bloggers. These educators are openly sharing ideas, reflections, visions and questions.

Why would we pay attention to one perspective?  Why not read, share, comment and reflect on the viewpoints of active connected educators who are putting their thinking ‘out there’ for everyone to access?

Where do you stand?  The one (or few) or the many?

Share your comments here or connect on Twitter.

~Mark

Related Resources

OSSEMOOC
Ontario Bloggers via @dougpete

Celebrate and Share with Twitter

June is always a busy month in education, but last night a number of WRDSB staff found time to participate in a year end Twitter Chat to celebrate successes in the 13/14 school year.

twitter-birds

I was struck by the richness of the discussion, and the level of openness.   You can share in the learning by reviewing the  Storified capture of the live chat  [here].

I look forward to continuing the sharing of our learnings through these chats next year.

~Mark

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.

PLN1

I decided to take action and retweet the request.

PLN2B

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

PLN3

PLN4

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

PLN5

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.

~Mark