Category Archives: ProfessionalLearning

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)
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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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Exploring K12 Gridlock

One of the interesting elements of this past school year for me was weaving together the thoughts, observations and ideas from the many conversations I enjoyed across Ontario via my PLN, both virtually and face to face.

The more I reflect on the conversations, and mull them over, I centre my thinking on the idea of educational grid lock. In many ways, it seems to me that we are in a state of increasing grid lock. There are so many opposing forces and change complexities in the K12 space, to me, many things seem, well, stuck.

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This summer I have decided to write a series of posts exploring this idea of edu gridlock, along with some questions and ideas on moving forward.

Photo credit: Flickr user samuel-leo for this creative commons licensed photo.

EduGridlock – up next: career long professional learning.

~Mark
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GAFE Learning in Ontario – Resources

There has been two awesome GAFE learning events in Ontario (Waterloo Region and Thunder Bay) over the last two weekends. I appreciated the opportunity to team up with Donna Fry, Provincial Capacity Building Lead to present workshops at each summit.

The presentation slides from our sessions are published below along with links to  resources developed by the OSAPAC committee.

OSAPAC Resources:

a)  Digital Citizenship Resources for Educators
b)  Digital Leadership Resources for Administrators
c)  Digital Leadership Support for Education Leaders

~Mark
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Crowd sourcing for SSPD

On Friday April 22nd I am presenting a “Let’s Get Social” workshop with  Mary Hingley  as part of our support staff professional learning day.

We will be focusing on “getting social” from a photo sharing perspective.  Our plan was to include an example of a crowd sourced photo share.

We invite you to contribute a suitable photo  that you took to this  Google Presentation.  Thank you for considering this opportunity.

~Mark
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Learning GAFE Summit Style

On behalf of the Waterloo Region District School Board, welcome to the 4th annual Ontario GAFE Summit. In reflecting back on our 1st summit, this has been an absolutely amazing journey – still going strong with sellout participation each year.

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Before we begin, I want to extend a sincere thank you to ECI Principal Jeff Klinck and his staff for their efforts and openness to support this event. I also want to thank the many people in IT Services and the EdTech team who have contributed to the preparations for the weekend.

And, thank YOU for giving your time this weekend. Not just any weekend – a historic weekend. Why?  Last night SpaceX landed a stage one Falcon rocket on a floating drone barge.  Wow!  When I watched the recording on YouTube I couldn’t help but make a couple of connections to our Summit event today.  One – this is mathematics and problem solving at its best, and two, watching the rockets trajectory reminded me of the many conversations I have had with Donna Fry about the importance of professional learning  to fuel opportunities to change the trajectory of a student.

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I have a hope for this weekend.

My hope is that as you participate, learn, network, make new connections, discuss and trade ideas that you will  TAKE ACTION  with what you learn this weekend.  I challenge you to share and make your learning visible. Please start conversations, participate in online sharing, and blog about your experiences to support the learning of others.  Become part of the Ontario Wave of Change by keeping the ripples moving in positive directions.

Enjoy your learning experience!!!

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Watch the SpaceX webcast

~Mark
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Innovators Mindset Panel Discussion 3

OSSEMOOC has been running an  online book study based on the Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros.  Last week’s activity featured an online panel discussion which focused on exploring some of elements of chapters 8-12 more deeply.

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The panel discussion recording (#3):

In reviewing the twitter conversation that occurred while the panel discussion was live, I wanted to share a few perspectives that I wanted to reflect on.  Perhaps these tweets will challenge your thinking or make a new connection  that will ignite new opportunities for you too.

My Reflection Prompts: 

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Additional Resources

Check the OSSEMOOC Website for more details about the Innovator’s Mindset book club.

#InnovatorsMindset Storify of the Innovator’s Mindset chat 3

The  #InnovatorsMindset Twitter Stream

~Mark
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Innovators Mindset: Starting School From Scratch

The world in which we exist today is complex and changing rapidly. There is more knowledge, more research and arguably more opportunity than ever before. One could put an argument forward that we are on the right path, that education is gradually shifting to a better place. Yet I wonder, are we?

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As highlighted here, the possibilities are endless and yes, the really answer is indeed likely closer to a book.

This question certainly fits my personal passion for change. My mind is flooding with thoughts and ideas:  learning is messy, differentiated, innovate, accountability, technology enabled, maker spaces, coding, literacy, numeracy, learning commons, collaborate,  real world context, problem solvers, analysis, literacies that fit the world in which our students live NOW,  pre-service teacher training, shifting culture, speed of change, differentiation, linearity (or not), global context, contributing to society  … well you get the picture.

For the purposes of this Innovator’s Mindset blog hop, I thought I would highlight a few “must changes” on my personal list.  Now waving the change wand ….

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  1. Boundless & Joyful Learning – we need a simple yet differentiated free flow to learning centred around student passion(s) rather than the current model which is tied to grades and calendar years.  Stomp out content driven learning. You can read more about my ideas on engagement and personalization of learning [here]
  2. Learning spaces – flexible, windows, filled with natural  lighting,  flexible furniture arrangements, no rows, learning commons/maker space style, student run white boards and  interesting colour schemes.  The design should focus on what you can do by bringing people together.
  3. Teachers as learning facilitators –  innovators, risk takers, technology enabled, differentiators, and digital resources and tools, no ‘walls’,  real world context (community and global)
  4. Assessment – Within the classroom perspective, we know a lot more about the importance of conversations, observations and products, frequent feedback and documenting learning – all good, but everyone must be ‘in’.  “High stakes” testing through provincial/(state), national and international assessment strategies need to change as the current model is far too linear and based on ages and grades rather than brain development and a variety of other factors.  I believe we need to reach beyond literacy and numeracy.
  5. Professional Learning – connected, self directed, self motivated learners (not sit and get), what is your next (not best) – thanks @pmillerscdsb

IM-9        Plan Act Assess Reflect (PAAR) may indeed be more powerful as Assess Reflect Plan Act  (ARPA).   I believe we need to build a lot of capacity yet in the area of open sharing.  Hallway and staff room conversations may be fantastic, but if you can’t search, access and share them then they are ideas and learnings in isolation.  More of my thoughts on this are in my blog post  Just Make It Public.

I hope some of these ideas have poked your thinking.  I invite you to comment here or connect with me on Twitter (@markwcarbone) or via  #innovatorsmindset.

~Mark

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Note: Image from: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Wandlore