Tag Archives: open learning

Scaling EDU Change

Last fall the Waterloo Region District School Board held their third Digital Learning Symposium.  Each symposium has focused on sharing effective classroom practice,  changing practice and promoting innovative practices.

The series of events has provided an opportunity for educators to come together, share, network and talk about next steps to pushing the envelope, building synergy and scaling change at the system level.

One of the strategies used at this recent symposium was to capture the best practices shared through video recording and create a WRDSB system blog to share the learnings and innovative approaches through other initiatives such as meetings of system leaders, school staff meetings and subject association sessions.  It is important to keep the momentum of the change conversation going.  This public blog also supports open learning for all educators.
innovative-change

  1. Student Produced Learning Objects
  2. Project Greenlight 
  3. Leveraging Technology for Inquiry Based Learning
  4. Deepening Mathematics Understanding with Coding
  5. STEM in a Globally Connected Classroom 
  6. Digital Work Flow  
  7. Student Writing With Storybird 
  8. Helping Little Brown Bats 
  9. Tangling With Triangulation 

I have enjoyed being involved in this project and look forward to working on the next phase.

Tacheles stairs, Berlin

Join in!!!.   How will you participate in open learning by scaling up?

~Mark
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Note 1:  The blogging project calls for a post week through until May, so the sharing will continue through to May. 

Note 2: Creative Commons image by Flickr user Paolo Margari

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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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Voice – Have You Found Yours?

Last week I had a fantastic opportunity to hear flamenco guitarist David Sinclair perform in a quaint house setting thanks to friends Bob and Jan.  As  you might anticipate, the performance was fabulous and so great to hear in that setting.  David provided some interesting insights into the music history and style to set the context for each piece.

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One  of the introductions really struck a chord with me.  As he talked about progressing as performer, David shared that one of his teachers challenged him to accomplish more:  be a great performer, but find your voice, write and perform your own music as well – leave your own legacy.

There is was: the importance of  “find your voice“.  Thanks David.

Given the number of conversations  in education about finding your voice and sharing learning openly, and a new school year just around the corner, perhaps this was a happy coincidence.  Or perhaps it was an “ignite moment”  to encourage us (educators) to take steps or continue a commitment to support open learning and sharing.

Blog!

September is coming.  Are in you in? 

~Mark
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Creative Commons Photo Credit (blog graphic) to Flickr user  ginaballerina