Enjoy OSSEMOOC‘s collaborative video :
Last week I had the opportunity to attend and present at the Cyber Summit 2105 conference. I was thrilled to be partnered with Jonathan Schaeffer, a Distinguished University Professor of Computing Science and currently the Dean of the Faculty of Science, at the University of Alberta for the presentation topic: Are MOOCs Past Their Peaks?
Jonathan shared his perspective and insights on the MOOC movement, noting that while it is only a few years old, it has already had a tremendous impact on teaching and learning. Although some of the original hype surrounding MOOCs has not been realized, the reality is that they are here for good and are influencing institutional thinking.
In reflection, although the perspectives we each presented represented significantly different contexts, some very interesting commonalities emerged. In summary:
My slides for the OSSEMOOC portion of the presentation:
Many thanks to those who attended our session.
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.
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!
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“.
Where do you stand: the one, or the room? What does it take to shake up or clarify your practice?
Reblog from OSSEMOOC.
If you were not able to join us live this evening, the session recording is now available [here]. A summary of some of the thinking we shared, and some of the questions that arose from the discussion are captured below. Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments.
I’m not sure we answered any of the questions we used as provocations this evening, but the discussion was rich, and it led to more questions.
We began with this question:
“How does a shift occur from a mindset where learning is provided to a culture where learning is sought?”
This applies to students and teachers. It’s a big shift! But we are seeing a critical mass now believing that this must go forward. Consider this link shared this evening: http://mltsfilm.org/
Or, consider this story about China telling its students to quit school: http://zhaolearning.com/2015/01/22/china-encourages-college-students-to-suspend-study-and-become-entrepreneurs-and-innovators/ .
Raghava KK spoke eloquently on this very topic last weekend at #Educon.
Agency, or ownership of learning, is a powerful concept when we consider both student and adult/educator learning.
We know that parents need to be involved in the shift. They are products of a system built in the 1800’s, but it is the system they trust. How do we bring them into the conversation of what education needs to look like in the year 2015? How do we address their concerns about “preparation for high school” and “preparation for university”?
Is the inertia of higher education a brick wall preventing change? Is the focus on marks as the filter for higher education opportunity stifling learning?
What is the importance and impact of “tradition” on the work we are doing in trying to change to a culture of learning?
Student teachers exist in the higher education system. How does this affect their thinking about what education can be?
We hear university professors complain that students don’t have the critical thinking skills they expect, yet the entry filter into university is a two digit number that may have nothing to do with critical thinking skills.
Will our elementary students in Ontario today be the drivers of change? Will they stand up for quality opportunities for inquiry over memorization and test taking? Will they resist a system that forces them to memorize answers instead of encouraging them to ask questions?
How much curiosity will they be able to retain?
How can we disrupt the thinking around professional learning. Do we need a new name for PD days? What might that look like?
PL (Professional Learning) Day? SD (Self-Directed) Day? PLC Day?
Do you believe that all educator professional learning should be directed by what knowledge and skills the data indicate that students need to succeed (i.e., that all professional learning is based on student learning needs)?
Can professional learning be based on the passions of the educator?
Are you working in an environment where your colleagues challenge your practice to make you think deeply about what you are doing?
Are we valuing professional capital (Fullan and Hargreaves) enough? Sal Khan says that the nations who will be strong in the future are those who have nurtured innovation and creativity among their people, as we shift from and industrial to an information society (http://mltsfilm.org/).
Do you think that “Professional Development” creates a culture of learned helplessness? Have we taught educators to wait for someone to teach them?
Have we done the same for our students?
Is this the only PD really needed: “The opportunity to learn where to find something when we need to learn about it”?
If we want kids to explore and learn, why would we sit back and wait for someone to teach us?
Should schools create a culture of teacher-learner agency?
(From Wikipedia, “In the social sciences, agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices”.)
We’d love to hear your thinking about this. Feel free to comment, and please join us live next Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST for more thinking and learning on this topic. More details will be posted at the OSSEMOOC site.
Last week I had the privilege of participating on a panel discussion at the YRDSB’s Quest conference with Lewis Morgulis (DCDSB) and Russ Coles (YRDSB). The panel was moderated by Margaret Roberts (YRDSB). I appreciate that, with permission, we were able to livestream and record the session to offer a virtual learning opportunity to other interested educators.
The panel discussion was centred around four guiding questions:
Watch the panel session.
Following the panel discussion, participants engaged in table discussion guided by the question and statement set below.
Participants also added comments, ideas and questions to a Today’s Meeting back channel. I have shared three quotes that resonated with me below.
Russ: thinking outside the box while living in the box
Mary-Anne: innovation starts when we stop accepting the status quo
Donna Miller Fry: (virtually from TBay) Innovation requires a willingness to be distrubed by M. Wheatley
The closing comment spoke for itself: As a result of your learning today, what would you do to start to implement this in your own context?
Please share your innovation ideas!
Whether you know me personally, are a reader of this blog or have connected online or F2F, you know that I am passionate about connected learners needing connected leaders, and this fuels much of the work I do.
Today’s post features a video prepared in collaboration with Donna Miller Fry for the K12 Online Conference as part of the OSAPAC sponsored OSSEMOOC project. Special thanks to Silvana Hoxha, Brenda Sherry, Wayne Toms and Ken Whytock for their willingness to share their getting connected journeys.
Related Resource: Fostering Connectivity TEDx Talk