Tag Archives: Professional Learning

Purposeful Connecting

As I was reviewing materials for some upcoming presentation, I was struck by the insightfulness Silvana Hoxha shared in the interview I did with her in preparation for an OSSEMOOC submission to the K12 Online Conference.

I am confident that you will find Silvana’s message inspiring. Grab a comfy chair and enjoy the message she has to share.

Related Resources

Connected Learners Need Connected Leaders – an Ontario Perspective. (K12 Online Conference Submission)

TEDx Talk by Mark W. Carbone & Donna Miller Fry
(TEDxKitchenerED: Connected Learners Need Connected Leaders)

~Mark

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Leveraging the Room

Last week I had the opportunity to attend an OASBO session where the main topic was succession planning.  The discussion started with considering communication processes in a simply way:  transmitters and receivers.

Now, move this idea to a mentor/coaching relationship between two people.  We were asked to divide ourselves into groups of three to tackle the task of listing attributes you would want to have in your mentor/coach.

crowd_source

         Image via www.socialbrite.org

I decided to see what would happen if we crowd sourced answers to this question. I popped the question out onto twitter hoping that some of my PLN would spot the request and take a moment to respond. The plan worked great as I received a number of responses during the work time allotted.

By happenstance our group was chosen to report back first.  One of my colleagues reported back on our strategy.  I wished I had recorded the reaction in the room as our approach was described (gasp, shock, what?, we didn’t ‘do the work’, you can’t do that). The guest presenter went with the situation as he was quite interested in our approach.

what they said 2

          Image via: chesapeakeadd.com

Here are the PLN responses to the question:  What makes a good mentor/coach?

  • engagement
  • vision
  • empathy
  • credibility
  • respect for the people they lead
  • active listener
  • humility
  • courage
  • geniousness
  • openness
  • accessible
  • transparent (honest, no hidden agendas)
  • relationship builder

People were impressed with the quality of thoughtful responses of the  PLN generated answers.  Additional responses from the session members included knowledge, flexible, sympathy, empathy and show confidence in others.

The facilitator added

  • being a sounding board (note importance of just listening … (you don’t always need an answer)
  • an objective view: a fresh set of eyes and
  • accountability in process

All in all a great list of important qualities for a mentor or coach to have.  Plus, it was a great impromptu demonstration of leveraging yourPLN.

Many thanks to PLN members   @EdDoadt,   @KentManning,  @ispgrew,  @alanacallan,   @mstayica,   @sheilashauf,  @fryed,  @jp_payeur,  @heidi_hobson and  @LAndriessen  for taking time to respond and contribute to a great learning experience.

~Mark

Thinking About Professional Learning

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.

WRDSB hosted GAFE Summit

The Waterloo Region District School Board will host their 3rd annual summit in April 2015.

EdTech

This will be a 4 day event with the following schedule:

Thursday April 9:  Ontario GAFE Technical Community meeting
Friday April 10: Boot Camp courses
Saturday April 11th and Sunday April 12th: GAFE Summit with the EdTech Team.

Details are online at WRDSB hosted GAFE Summit.

Join us for a great professional learning opportunity.

EdTech Logo

 

~Mark

WBE workshop session resources

Thank you to those participants who attended my workshop presentations today. As promised, I am sharing the resources:

Conference Twitter feed  #wbecon14

Enjoy a free,  connected, self directed, professional learning experience through  OSSEMOOC  (blog) and/or connect to the OSSEMOOC  Twitter feed.

Additional resources are listed at the end of the slide deck.  Stay connected and continue to  share your learning.

~Mark

Tweet as Prompts

When I saw this tweet this morning, it reminded of a recent conversation with  Rod Lucier  where the point of discussion centred around the ideas that:

a) all positions have leadership components and
b) perhaps the best leadership position is the one you are in.

Using this tweet as a prompt, I think it is time worthy to reflect on the leadership traits described here.

Leadership-Fullan

What changes will you make to your practice?

~Mark

Note: Cross posted to OSSEMOOC

London PNC: Digging into change

Last Thursday (April 10, 2014) I had the pleasure of attending the meeting of the London MISA PNC group  to serve on a panel discussion with

L-PNCpanel

Joe Sisco of the WECDSB did a nice job hosting the event and moderating the panel discussion.  My role on the panel was to share some ideas concerning technology planning.

My response:

I enjoyed the variety of  questions the panel addressed.  Two conversations really stood out for me.  First,  some excellent dialog around the notions  of professional sharing:

and secondly, examining comfort with change:

In a rather timely fashion, this tweet from  Donna Fry  was posted just two days later while she was participating as a virtual learner by following the Twitter conversations of  Edcamp SWO  and  Edcamp London  which ran on Saturday April 12th.  I think the tweet captures the essence of the panel discussions in a nice concise way.

LivingInBeta

~Mark

Related Resources: sound clips in a local format

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