I enjoyed a wonderful opportunity to participate in and present at the inaugural Learn By Design conference hosted at the International School of Brussels. This was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed meeting so many fantastic educators and students.
I want to take a moment to introduce two new friends, Peter (centre) and Fred (left), who are undertaking an interesting project to provide real help to dogs with disabilities.
One of the best elements of the web is the ongoing learning and sharing that takes place. While in many ways, you never really know what impact you will have with a tweet, retweet, participation in a chat, a blog post, commenting , creating a podcast, video etc. I like the notion of the ripple effect.
More and more though, I am thinking about levels of learning. Even though all of the examples above can be classified as participating, contributing, sharing and learning. I wonder though, what is it that actually triggers one to find the PLN that will help you learn, challenge you, push you, and follow through to grow and change your practice?
I am sure that many web users enjoy the variety of ways to participate. I do too, but I find both the enjoyment and learning that comes from reading blogs and the related comments to be a great experience.
Here are a few highlights from my web travels this week:
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 Theijsmeijerleveraged her PLN twitter connections with Donna Fryand me todevelop 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’sVista 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.
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
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.
Today I spent some time with WCI librarians Carlo Fusco and Leah Crowell discussion how they have Future Oriented the school library. In our discussion, we explored 5 areas of interest and impact which were determined in a previous visit.
Leveraging Multi Media
The impact of 1:1
Visioning the changing world of the teacher
Shifting to device agnostic spaces
Carlo and Leah, thank you for sharing your learning, visioning, and change process.
Interview in 3D video:
Interview in 2D video:
Students I chatted with at the school were very positive about the continued evolvement and current status of the future oriented thinking about the library space to service student learning needs.
This has been an amazing week of learning and sharing at WRDSB. Under the leadership of the Digital Learning Steering committee a 3 day event was planned to involve a team from each school attending one of the six half day events to reflect on current status, attend breakout sessions to look at new, innovative and engaging practices, and consider next best steps on a site by site basis.
I intended to share this blog post much sooner than today, but life has been a little crazy.
On a recent (March) visit to Ryerson P.S. I had an opportunity to visit the grade 1 classroom of teacher Jenni van Rees. The excitement in the room was obvious as it was coding day! Learning goals for the session were clearly laid out and reviewed with the students.
Students were clearly comfortable using both iPads and Chromebooks as they worked in groups of 2 or 3 for collaborative learning and problem solving.
The students really did work collaboratively, and it was great to see their joy in planning, testing, reviewing results and determining next steps.
Fast foward to April where I had an opportunity to attend a Sphero Challenge event organized by teachers Scott Dickie and Chad Lloyd from Westmount P. S.
I arrived early to see the first of 4 sphero tracks being marked out in the gym. The remaining tracks were laid down as teams from a variety of schools began to arrive.
As was evidenced in Jenni’s classroom, the energy and excitement was in abundance. Teams were eager to embrace the challenge: planning, measuring, calculating, comparing, testing, observing, collaborating, communicating, iterating … “all in” problem solving for sure.
I hope this highlights video give you a good sense of the Sphero Challenge event.