Tag Archives: reflection

Reflecting on Learning with Hyperdocs

Alison Bullock  and I had planned to record a reflection on Learning with Hyperdocs this month.  We decided to capitalize on the amazing Banff scenery while attending the CNIE2017 conference, to record the reflection.

~Mark

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ISBLbD reflection

 

The Saturday panel at Learn by Design,  brought together panelists Colleen Broderic,  Simon Jack,  Gary Stager and Ewan McIntosh who tackled two key questions which face all education jurisdictions:

  1.  What are 3 things schools should stop doing now?

2.  What are three things schools should start doing now to disrupt schooling?

With a talented panel such as this, you would anticipate insightful answers and comments.   Conference participants were not disappointed.   Some of the perspectives that resonated with me are summarized below.

Part 1:  What are 3 things schools should stop doing now?

  • stop developing long term plans as it kills agility and iteration
  • stop expecting disruption if you are not going to cultivate the conditions to do so
  • always think about what to do next
  • stop teaching old style curriculum
  • school teaches about 1/billionth of the world knowledge, stop arguing about which 1/billionth
  • stop assuming we know how other people think
  • stop thinking you need to understand everything you are working on all the time, the price of not trying is greater
  • stop having too many meetings

Part 2: What are three things schools should start doing now to disrupt schooling?

  • ,think about partnerships differently – engage students and parents as research partners – solve/change something collectively
  • list everything you are doing, then  publicly remove things from the list
  • begin every decision with a child
  • don’t redesign schools by looking at schools,  start looking elsewhere
  • storytelling,  it is human, value who we are
  • embrace the joy of learning, happiness, laughter
  • plan a next

In my view,  the comments, counters and exchange were insightful, thoughtful and respectful.  Any one of these insights is a prompt to generate in depth probing and discussion.

Upon reflection, I would add self directed learning for staff and students into the mix.

My wondering is:   What would you add to the this list?  Anything missing?  What is on your educational mind these days? 

Please comment here or add to the  #ISBLBD twitter stream.

~Mark

Leadership Journey

In her blog post  Not All Who Wander are Lost, a Lesson in Leadership,  Tina Zita writes

… “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.

learning_is_messy

Taking time to clear your mind,  unclutter thinking, unlearn, explore options, different paths and new viewpoints IS the journey.

As  Donna Miller Fry  recently tweeted,

Take time to wander!  What will your personal professional learning journey look like?

~Mark
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Read Tina’s blog

‘messy image from  http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/learning/2012/04/learning-is-messy/

Considering One Word

As 2015 year winds down and we can see 2016 just on the horizon, the time of year is often a time of reflection. Perhaps you will have a particular focus in 2016. Can you characterize your focus with a single word?

I am taking time to consider my word. Will you?

~Mark

uLead: Engagement Take 2

In the uLead 2015 Monday afternoon keynote,  Andy Hargreaves spent some time exploring the idea of student engagement. He closed by asking us to do some deep thinking about the notion of engagement.   What does it mean in our K-12 context?  I felt compelled to comment on the challenge and explore this for myself.

stop the press

This is my second go at writing this blog post.  Wait!  Maybe I am engaged with this task.  Aha!!!  Here we go with a clean slate, or whatever you call that in bloggers land – a clean screen or a clean digital writing space perhaps?

I am thinking that perhaps instead of getting stuck on some formal or historic definition of engagement, I am simply going to consider it in this learning context as being “in the active learning & participating  zone”.  My way of considering this will be to consider a number of factors as they relate to the person I know best — me.

I know I can be engaged when alone or with others.  A good example for me is music. I might be practicing a new piece of solo music or perhaps rehearsing with the members of my quintet.  I should be totally engaged during a performance situation.  Perhaps focus vs distractedness is an element of this too.  Level of readiness or willingness also plays into this.

IMG_0100

I know that I can be engaged with or without technology. For those of you that know me, I’ll bet the “yah right” thoughts are  flowing through your mind.  So yes, there a lots of ways I engage with and through technology: learning something new, solving a problem, collaborating, reading, discussing, searching, researching … arranging a piece of music, writing a blog post 🙂 …  and on the list goes.  It might be the technology itself – learning to use a GoPro camera or a Myo wrist band, or the technology might simply be the means to get to another process such as writing, composing, arranging or creating.

MYO

I enjoy a great conversation too: something new, something deep or maybe just a new context.  I like variety – these conversations could happen F2F, on a walk, over the phone, or online.

I know the potential level of participation and/or newness plays a role.  I am sure we can all think of a scenario or two when you simply want to opt out or not be there … the KMN situations.

Timing is a factor for me.  I am in tune with my high and low  energy  times. I might be more or less engaged depending on my energy level.  Balance is in the mix too.  I know when I need my introvert time – recharge time. In some ways this is a powerful force within me – a must have.  I know that I will not engage well in an extroverted situation when I am in introvert recharge mode.  Simple:  overruled,  not happening.

As I think through this, I am realizing what engagement isn’t. I don’t think engagement is a one size fits all “thing”. There is no magic formula that applies to all people in all situations.

cookiecutters

So,  put those big paint brushes and cookie cutter ideas away.  There are no everyone should  do this, stop that, use this, don’t use this etc. solutions.  Engagement is a complicated recipe that has many variables.

Perhaps the secret is building our skills as learning chefs by being aware of the ingredients and knowing how to create that perfect recipe with the ingredients on hand.

Develop skills in reading people as individuals and groups, consider readiness and trust in trying something new, sense the energy level, learn to maximize participation, ask great questions, poke at what comes next, what if, I wonder … know your learners.

Clearly,  this is a complex topic. I know I have much more to learn about this topic.  Help me learn by sharing a comment or insight here,  send me a link to your blog post about this or consider connecting on social media.  Whatever you do, on your own terms:

engage

~Mark

 

 

Scaling factors at ON21cLearn

Today I am attending the Ontario 21C Learning Journey event hosted by the Ministry of Education.  As we consider the path forward with professional growth, change of practice and technology enabled learning, and scaling, important points to are:

adoption vs adaption

 

and

context&culture

Happy reflecting.

Follow the twitter discussion at #ON21cLearn

~Mark

4 Great Questions

A few days ago my wife received an email from a friend indicating that she was going through some challenging times. In the message she asked for my wife’s perspective on four questions (below).

  • Things you would change if you could?
  • Lessons learned?
  • Things you are glad you did?
  • What do you hope for in the next 5-10 years?
I thought these were great questions that certainly put one into reflective mode.
What would these mean to you personally?  professionally?
What actions will you take?
Happy reflecting.
~Mark