Tag Archives: Donna Fry

Knowledge Mobilization Context – a response

A couple of weeks ago  Donna Miller Fry  blogged about open education leadership, exploring the question: Is knowledge more rapidly mobilized through the system when leaders work openly?

Her post begins “For the purposes of my work, I am considering personal professional openness – the concept of sharing thinking and learning in open spaces, curating resources for others, engaging in open conversations in text or through broadcast technologies like podcasts, videos and YouTube Live, blogging and commenting on blogs, and participating across the educational boundaries in wider conversations across the web. Working open” means different things in different contexts …”   You can read Donna’s full blog post [here] .

In my view, this is a well written post, and as is typical of Donna, she invites further comment and discussion.  I have been mulling over my thinking on this topic since reading the post and decided to share my response as another blog post.

I fully believe in open learning, sharing and question asking,  and do my best to model this in my own practice.  My experience, and I believe that of many, is that the personal value of being a connected professional, connected learner, and engaged in global conversations is truly boundless learning.  Yet, Donna’s post has prompted me to do some deeper thinking about context of open learning and knowledge mobilization.

My thinking on this has moved to a triangulation model of open learning, conditions & culture  and purpose/focus with knowledge mobilization at the centre.

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The question for me is what brings knowledge mobilization to life beyond personal growth and interest?

openness: sharing thinking, learning and questions openly – publicly in digital forums

conditions & culture: innovation and creativity – an interest and receptiveness in moving positions and growth

focus: alignment to a purpose or goal  (beyond self)

Applying knowledge mobilization strategies to system
system change is often a task faced by large organizations, including school boards.  The open learning model that Donna describes in her post I believe is a key element in change:  learning openly from others, leveraging the “global room” of the digital world,  bringing new ideas and  experiences to the table,  challenging  and adjusting thinking and landing solidly on the right place to promote, activate and execute system change.

Mobilizing knowledge through to a system requires a certain receptiveness, a level of readiness, a plan.  In my view, a culture that embraces innovation and creativity is needed or must be created to truly embrace change.  This process takes time, but is important. If this is missing, the pace of change – time needed for the process will undoubtedly be extended, perhaps less impactful or worse, not achieved at all.

Finally, meshing open learning to a culture of change, innovation and creativity then applying it to a strategic focus or goal amplifies the entire process.  The strategic focus may be drastic such as a company reinventing itself to “stay alive” in the business world, or perhaps the focus is change one or more elements in an education system. No the less, understanding the need and target for the change process must be well understood.

I believe the triangulation approach creates purpose and amplification for planned change.

Your thoughts?

~Mark
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CATC Camp – digging in deeper

Once again our annual summer computer camp,  CATC By the Water,  was a great learning experience. You can check out some of the learning and innovating thinking at: CATC Camp learning and sharing or CATC innovators.

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One of my favourite conversations this year happened when I took the time to sit down with George Couros and Donna Fry to  revisit a conversation from a year ago, where we debated why educators look to one well known lead or theory to follow rather than leveraging the room – the educators who are learning, changing, innovating and sharing publicly.  After all,  the smartest person in the room, is the room!

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Digging deeper into the conversation this year we talked about another angle that I believe is important in this discussion.  Perhaps the most important element is not if fact “the one” vs “the room”,  but each of us recognizing which one of these causes the personal disruption needed to learn, change, grow and share.  After all, we each have a responsibility for owning our professional learning journey. Perhaps a good term for this would be “differentiated disruption“.

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Where do you stand: the one, or the room?  What does it take to shake up or clarify your  practice?

~Mark

 

Remix – Connect – Challenge

As educators, we ofter hear that the  plan, act, assess, reflect (PAAR) cycle promoted as excellent professional practice.  Extend this to an online context:  the importance of sharing, telling your story, learning from each other (the smartest person in the room is the room),  building relationships,  leveraging online connections and opportunities and finally using technology tools to facilitate this process (don’t just focus on the technology itself),

I was struck by my reading experience this morning.  Call it what you will: growing awareness, synchronicity, convergence, coincidence  or perhaps some other term of your choice, but there certainly was an emerging theme.

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First,  I see an interesting Facebook post by Patrick Larkin,  a valued member of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) highlighting a position on school and system leader technology use by  George Couros.  George concluded is blog post with this powerful question: If the purposeful use of technology can enhance or accelerate those ideas above, shouldn’t more leaders look at how these tools can be used in their own practice?   Got you thinking?  Read George’s thoughts [here].

As I finish reading George’s article,  an alert pops up that a new OSSEMOOC  post called  How Do We Get There From Here?  has gone live. Perfect timing Donna.  Intrigued by the title, I decide to take a quick look. Talk about timely.

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You will have to read the post (How Do We Get There From Here?) to see the list 🙂

Now,  back to catching up on Facebook happenings … where did I leave off?   Timely:  Kathi Smith  has re-shared a Leonard Nimoy quote that really resonates with all of the reading I just finished.  Perfect!

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In some of my earlier thinking about this topic, I wrote “Allow the global community of educators the privilege of searching, finding, reading, re-reading, sharing, curating, linking and commenting on your blog posts.”  Read my full blog post:  Just Make It Public.

Consider your role in learning from other educators.  Take the challenge and make Spock proud!

Additional Resources

… from OSSEMOOC and Dean Shareski.

~Mark

Connected Learners Need Connected Leaders

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Todays connected learners need connected school and system leaders.  Further to the presentation prepared for  TEDxKitchenerED about the work that is/needs to be done in the area of personally owned,  self directed learning opportunities for school/school board leaders to build awareness and capacity in this area,  Donna & I are pleased to announce that the  official TEDx video is now online.

 

~Mark

Reflections on a Collaborative Blogging Project

It was a pleasure for me  to co-author today’s blog post  with  Donna Miller Fry.   In this post,  we share our amazing experiences with the  OSSEMOOC:  30 days of learning in Ontario collaborative blogging  project.

Enjoy reading our reflections  [here].

~Mark

Sunset, Sunrise

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As one year closes out and a new one begins, it seems to be a natural time for reflection.  With 2013 rolling into 2014, I read this insightful blog post titled   The Sun Rises on a New Year   by  Donna Fry.  Three aspects of Donna’s post really resonated with me and I believe they are worthy of some personal reflection time.

1. The acknowledgement of the importance and value of developing and interacting with your Personal Learning Network  (PLN).

2.  I like that Donna pointed out that even in the diverse, interactive and collaborative online world, it is possible to get comfortable with your PLN.  It is important to have enough diversity in your PLN to keep your thinking challenged and fresh. To me, this is a great example of being purposeful of establishing and leveraging your PLN to support a growth mindset.  We need to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable!

3. Identifying  where spending your time will have great impact. This might mean balancing online and F2F times in new ways.  Be thoughtful about how you nurture and influence those around you.  Part of the nurturing process is bringing people into the online world in a meaningful way and helping them get enough traction to to be independent on their own learning journey.

My challenge to you:  How might these ideas influence your actions this year?   I would enjoy  learning about your reflections on this topic, so feel free to leave a comment here or on Donna’s  original post, share a comment on Twitter or consider blogging about your own thoughts.

~Mark

Technology Enabled Learning: a Perspective

Yesterday,  my morning started with my  with my usual routine – a  check on the ‘Twitterverse’. There is always something interesting going on there, and this day was no different. I took note of a tweet from  Donna Fry  announcing her new blog post  Changing the Trajectory.  I always enjoy reading Donna’s blog as I find her writing thought provoking and insightful.

This article inspired as anticipated, digging into critical aspects of student learning – learning is for ALL, learning is messy and sometimes very messy.  Then there were “those words” that REALLY caught my attention:  building capacity, personalized learning and towards the end of her article a strong statement of importance of  Assessment data Thinking, collaborating teacher + Technology. 

This last statement fit nicely with a diagram I had sketched various of versions of on my office whiteboard.  These words capture the essence of what I think of as Technology Enabled Learning (TEL).  The journey is all about student learning.  The use of technology should not interfere with best instructional and assessment practices. We should not use technology because it is there or perhaps new, but use it in ways that make a difference in the learning.

I am a believer in a thoughtful approach to the use of technology in the learning process and encourage educators to familiarize themselves with both the  TPACK  model as well as the  SAMR  model.  The C’s,  as often described in 21C learning references,  provide what I think of as key “hooks” for leveraging the potential of technology for learning.  All to often,  I think we get caught up in thinking about the hardware …. desktops, operating systems, mobile – laptops, netbooks and tablets.  Ah yes, and don’t forget about the bring your own option.

In the end, these devices are well, simply devices.  Today, the rate of change in technology is staggering.   Devices will come and go, improve, get faster, and have more capabilities.  If we are lucky, the price of a device suitable for student learning will continue to drop in price over time.  In the spin of the “device of the day”, we do have to learn them and design support models. BUT, we need to be prepared for change as the churn of hardware development and operating system advances will never stand still.

The focus must remain on best instructional and assessment practices and how we use technology to support and enable learning, and not what the technology of the day is.  I have attempted to capture a way of connecting these ideas in the diagram below.

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I appreciate the timing of Donna’s publication, that she  wrote such an insightful article and created an opportunity for me to share how some of my thinking and learning as it  links to her  learning.

~Mark