… “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.
Taking time to clear your mind, unclutter thinking, unlearn, explore options, different paths and new viewpoints IS the journey.
The SAMR model has taken the technology enabled learning world by storm. Based on long term thorough research the model offers a new strategy to look at the relationship of technology and learning. The model describes four stages of using technology to support student learning as summarized in the chart below.
Let me say up front that I am a big believer in the SAMR research and methodology. You can read my other SAMR related blog posts here. However, I am concerned about the circulation of SAMR charts that slot apps and web tools to a stage on the SAMR chart.
The SAMR model is based on the notion of using technology to support learning in ways to deepen learning through opportunities not previously possible – that is, a change in practice. To my way of thinking, the SAMR framework needs to be internalized in one’s thinking so that you independently examine your lesson, practice, approach etc. It is NOT about just picking an app from the ‘R’ level and assuming “that is it”.
I think SAMR is a lens, a way of thinking about self improvement. It is a journey of reflection and getting to that better technology enabled learning place of practice consistently. As learning contexts change, reflection through the SAMR lens is necessary to keep one’s practice sharp.
Technology is changing at a torrid pace. New web based tools and apps are born every minute. Each choice of technology, app and use MUST factor in the context of the learning at hand and the needs of the students. Recognize that a learning moment is simply that – a moment in time, and worthy of professional reflection. Tomorrow, there will be new hardware, new apps and new web tools. The SAMR model will see us through these changes by helping us focus on best practice, reflection and a moving through a personal journey. Sometimes, being at an ‘S’ level might be just the right place to be – part of the journey.
Take the SAMR challenge today. Become familiar with the model and how it relates to learning and excellent instructional practice. Examine new possibilities for technology enabled learning. Challenge yourself. Reflect. Share what you experience and learn. Internalize it – make SAMR part of who you are!
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.
Today I attended the WRDSB Business Services professional development session. Part of the morning focused on the importance of nurturing a growth mindset. Some excellent points on this topic were made in this Ted Talk. Pause and take time to watch this 11 minute video: The Power of Belief – Mindset and Success by Eduardo Briceno at TEDxManhattanBeach.