Category Archives: Technology Enabled Learning

Learning with Spheros

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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.

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Students were clearly comfortable using both iPads and Chromebooks as they worked in groups of 2 or 3 for collaborative learning and problem solving.

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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.

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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.

I am already looking forward to the next one!

~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

Leveraging the Clipboard

On a recent school visit, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet teacher Kim Clegg and see her classroom in action.  One tip Kim shared with me was the benefits of leveraging the google docs permanent clipboard to facilitate providing better descriptive feedback to students.

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Kim’s thoughts on changing practice:

~Mark

The Power of Disruption

Today’s post, the next in my Virtual Coffee Shop Series, features WRDSB teacher Andrew Bieronski reflecting on using technology to disrupt practice in a positive way.

Join the  conversation by connecting with Andrew via @twitter,  Google +, his  Web Site or add your comments to this blog post.

~Mark

Shifting Perspectives on Libraries

I stopped at the Starbucks at King & University this morning on the way to see  Carlo Fusco  at Waterloo CI to consult regarding his library project.  As I entered, I happened to notice the striking view change that (literally) just one step made.

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One step, a small step, can strikingly change your perspective.  Have a listen to Carlo’s perspective on library change.

~Mark

Changing Practice with GAFE

Using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) offers many opportunities to develop new ways to approach curriculum delivery, instructional design, providing feedback, assessment … well, you get the picture – OPPORTUNITY!

At 2:30 p.m. EDT (today, October 17th, 2015)  Andrew Bieronski  and I team up to deliver a session at the  Ottawa GAFE Summit  to dig into this topic from a WRDSB perspective.

If you would like to join us remotely, we will be sharing our session via  @Livestream  (free account needed to view)
Note: the stream will be activated approximately 15 minutes before the session.

Slide Deck:

Video recording of our presentation:

~Mark

Exploring the Year of Code Waterloo Region

This blog post kicks of a new component at Mark’s Musings. In recognition of the importance of creative thinking, tossing ideas around, and learning by doing it is equally important to allow forums for ideas to: germinate, build, be discussed, be modified, tested and challenged. As a personal ‘next‘ or next step, I have decided to add the Virtual Coffee Shop series within my blog to dedicate intentional time to capturing a conversation or two each month to share with a broader audience.

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I am thrilled that Stephanie Rozek was able to join me for this first live streamed conversation in the Virtual Coffee Shop series to discuss the Year of Code Waterloo Region initiative.

Recording:

~Mark