The Saturday panel at Learn by Design, brought together panelists Colleen Broderic, Simon Jack, Gary Stager and Ewan McIntosh who tackled two key questions which face all education jurisdictions:
- What are 3 things schools should stop doing now?
2. What are three things schools should start doing now to disrupt schooling?
With a talented panel such as this, you would anticipate insightful answers and comments. Conference participants were not disappointed. Some of the perspectives that resonated with me are summarized below.
Part 1: What are 3 things schools should stop doing now?
- stop developing long term plans as it kills agility and iteration
- stop expecting disruption if you are not going to cultivate the conditions to do so
- always think about what to do next
- stop teaching old style curriculum
- school teaches about 1/billionth of the world knowledge, stop arguing about which 1/billionth
- stop assuming we know how other people think
- stop thinking you need to understand everything you are working on all the time, the price of not trying is greater
- stop having too many meetings
Part 2: What are three things schools should start doing now to disrupt schooling?
- ,think about partnerships differently – engage students and parents as research partners – solve/change something collectively
- list everything you are doing, then publicly remove things from the list
- begin every decision with a child
- don’t redesign schools by looking at schools, start looking elsewhere
- storytelling, it is human, value who we are
- embrace the joy of learning, happiness, laughter
- plan a next
In my view, the comments, counters and exchange were insightful, thoughtful and respectful. Any one of these insights is a prompt to generate in depth probing and discussion.
Upon reflection, I would add self directed learning for staff and students into the mix.
My wondering is: What would you add to the this list? Anything missing? What is on your educational mind these days?
Please comment here or add to the #ISBLBD twitter stream.
Last fall the Waterloo Region District School Board held their third Digital Learning Symposium. Each symposium has focused on sharing effective classroom practice, changing practice and promoting innovative practices.
The series of events has provided an opportunity for educators to come together, share, network and talk about next steps to pushing the envelope, building synergy and scaling change at the system level.
One of the strategies used at this recent symposium was to capture the best practices shared through video recording and create a WRDSB system blog to share the learnings and innovative approaches through other initiatives such as meetings of system leaders, school staff meetings and subject association sessions. It is important to keep the momentum of the change conversation going. This public blog also supports open learning for all educators.
- Student Produced Learning Objects
- Project Greenlight
- Leveraging Technology for Inquiry Based Learning
- Deepening Mathematics Understanding with Coding
- STEM in a Globally Connected Classroom
- Digital Work Flow
- Student Writing With Storybird
- Helping Little Brown Bats
- Tangling With Triangulation
I have enjoyed being involved in this project and look forward to working on the next phase.
Join in!!!. How will you participate in open learning by scaling up?
Note 1: The blogging project calls for a post week through until May, so the sharing will continue through to May.
Note 2: Creative Commons image by Flickr user Paolo Margari
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: Heather Theijsmeijer 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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
a) Digital Citizenship Resources for Educators
b) Digital Leadership Resources for Administrators
c) Digital Leadership Support for Education Leaders
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
Watch the SpaceX webcast