Category Archives: reflection

ISBLbD reflection

 

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:

  1.  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.

~Mark

One Word ONT 2017

I have been thinking about my “one word” response in anticipation of the annual blogging challenge led by Julie Balen.   I have always enjoyed the contemplation and challenge of zeroing in on one element of focus for a year.  (continued below graphic)

My personal landscape has changed as I transitioned from a school board employee (CIO at WRDSB) to retiree (Oct. 31) to exploring independent work.  As I experience this transition,  consider options and contemplate what a new,  more flexible way of remaining active in the learning and ed-tech spaces, as well as looking at experiencing new things, many things jump out:  remaining active, rebalance, recognizing that my desire to continue in these spaces is alive and well,  flex time,  more music, new ways to be involved in community (local and online), new experiences,  what stays, what goes …. the mulling continues and I am sure it will continue for a while.

What I do know is that without understanding what exactly my future looks like, or how time is rebalanced, I want my time to matter, I want to make a difference.  I have landed on selecting “impactful” as my 2017 one word.  My personal journey will be to explore ways to be impactful within a new flexible and rebalanced context.

Let the journey begin!

~Mark
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Leadership Journey

In her blog post  Not All Who Wander are Lost, a Lesson in Leadership,  Tina Zita writes

… “It’s hard to give yourself that permission to wander, the permission to not take the standard path set out. Education seems to have a pretty clear pathway for leadership: step 1 leads to step 2 leads to step 3, the quicker the better. Like the city walls, they become a constant reminder of a common path I haven’t chosen to take yet. Sometimes wandering feels uncomfortable.” …

This analogy of clearing one’s mind, taking time to simply be and explore the non traditional path really resonates with me.

Personal growth is an individualized journey. I do not believe the journey is simply a long sequence of pre-planned, must follow steps – arguably, hoops to jump through.  Perhaps our professional learning looks (or should like) more like the diagram on the right  which is often used to describe student learning.

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Taking time to clear your mind,  unclutter thinking, unlearn, explore options, different paths and new viewpoints IS the journey.

As  Donna Miller Fry  recently tweeted,

Take time to wander!  What will your personal professional learning journey look like?

~Mark
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Read Tina’s blog

‘messy image from  http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/learning/2012/04/learning-is-messy/

Reflections on Innovator’s Mindset Panel 4

I enjoyed supporting the social media component of this week’s Innovator’s Mindset panel discussion.  As I listened to the panelists and monitored the Twitter stream, I jotted down phrases that resonated with me in terms of student centred thinking and important professional practice.

I framed a few questions from the discussion here:

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I thought the panelists shared some insightful professional practice elements:

Tell your story:  everyone  (students and educators)  has a story.
Reflect
Challenge Thinking as part of your regular practice
Make it Public
Model – model what you seek
We are collectively better and stronger as co-learners .

Will you take the challenge?
Will you support change and choose to model normalizing the practice of making your learning and thinking visible?

Related Resources:

Storify of panel discussion 4
Follow the Twitter stream at  #innovatorsmindet 

View the panel discussion

~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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Innovation: Think Outside of the Triangle

This blog post is in response to the Innovator’s Mindset Blog Hop activity tonight inviting people to post about a personal definition of innovation as a kickoff to the book study.

As I pondered what I might write about tonight, I decided to consider two different angles that come into play in my view.

On the personal front, I believe innovation is connected to curiosity, creativeness and play.  You react to new ideas, readings, questions, prompts, devices etc.  Giving yourself permission to play, explore, take risks and let the mind wander in a boundless way is key. Through the act of play,  new ideas are built and remixed.  Sometimes, there is that unannounced AHA moment – something ‘concrete’ to try perhaps on your own or in your classroom.  Be purposeful about this – the more you engage in play and creativity,  innovative ideas will become more plentiful.

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Personal innovation is one thing, but I believe it really comes alive when you can exist in a culture of innovation — a culture where: people wonder, conversation is encouraged,  new ideas are received without judgement,  open sharing is a norm and one suggestion or question leads to a new interpretation.

Nurture yourself by surrounding yourself with those who will contribute to your innovative energy — in all aspects of your F2F and online endeavours, take risks and think outside of the triangle!

~Mark
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Image via Flickr creative commons license

Check out what other Ontario bloggers are saying about innovation:

 Amit Mehrotra,  Stacey Wallwin,  Jennifer Casa-Todd

Paul McGuire,  Tina Zita,  Donna Miller Fry,  Patrick Miller

Michelle Parrish,  Jason Richea,  Jancey Clark,  @PeelASP,  

Julie Balen

Check out more at OSSEMOOC!

Considering One Word

As 2015 year winds down and we can see 2016 just on the horizon, the time of year is often a time of reflection. Perhaps you will have a particular focus in 2016. Can you characterize your focus with a single word?

I am taking time to consider my word. Will you?

~Mark