I would like to share that I have finished my 5th class

I’m sure that everyone is giddy with the news!

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Ok, possibly no one really cares where about I am in my grad studies journey, but hopefully some of what I share here will leave others with wonderings or thinking how they can use some of the information and insight I have and combine it with their own to end up with something infinitely better than either of us would have come up with on our own.

We take ideas from other people, from-2

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I actually love this quote, and the picture was awesome, as it aligns with my major learning project of learning how to crochet.  Of course I just googled the image, and it ended up taking me to a blog from a student who is working on an open scholarship course from the Virginia Commonwealth University, which I thought was pretty coincidental.

Throughout the class, we have looked at many interesting videos, and written numerous posts about the importance of sharing. We have explored our privileged positions being educators, and why it’s so important for us to have a voice for those who may not through social media.  We have investigated learning through open texts, and through free online sources, such as videos posted to YouTube, and other’s blogs.

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For me, the most important learning of the course, is the power of Twitter for connecting to educators around the globe.  I started using Twitter when I took EC&I 834 in the spring semester.  I liked it, but didn’t use it to its full potential, (if I’m honest, I still don’t- but I’m getting better).  The 834 course was more about creating.  It’s interesting to me how when we change the focus and view similar material through different lenses, how different our learnings.

I spent the bulk of 834 learning new apps and learning how to create video/audio, etc, and make my classroom more interactive.  I didn’t clue in at all about the importance of sharing the resources that I created online, though I shared them with the class, and with other teachers in my building.  I loved learning how to use Google Classroom, at that point it wasn’t available in our division, but I started a couple other teachers on Edmodo.  My priority was more about keeping kids safe while at the same time exposing them to wider networks of learning.  I focused on student engagement, and not a lot on me sharing. I learned for the purpose of engaging students.

With ECI 831, the focus is on sharing.  I wasn’t concerned so much about learning how to use new apps to teach students, but rather with teaching myself some of the ways that I can learn online, and how to share my thoughts and ideas. This brought me back to Twitter, and I started using it differently than I did last class.  My focus has turned from engaging my class, to engaging myself.  Thinking bigger than my own class, and to the ways that technology is changing the world, not just my classroom.  I have been able to connect with some amazing educators, and found many professional resources, (although I still don’t share them online as much as I do with my colleagues at work.)

I have not had as much time to focus on learning additional apps or a new LMS as I did last semester.  I was however able to focus much time on learning what was important to me right now- which is leadership and school culture.  I have been able to find so many experts to follow in Canada and the US.  It is fascinating to read about the innovative things that happening in education.  With local PD, I am stuck to the people and resources provided by my division, and although they are great, they cannot offer near the depth that I have found through Twitter.  In addition, I am able to find and spend more time on the areas that I currently need to focus on as a new administrator, and the areas that I think are most important: school culture and student engagement.

For my summary of learning, I chose not to spend my time on a new app or other online creation tool.  As I mentioned in my major project, a major issue I have with learning online is that everything is so flashy I struggle to maintain focus.  I am the kind of student who does well with a lecture.  Give me a plain old TedTalk any day over some animated video.

 

Is my summary flashy and particularly engaging?  No, and for me as a learner- that is just fine. In addition, creating my summary of learning in this format is also about not spending a bunch of time on the flash.  I spent a great deal of time on my ideas.  In reality, for me to share as an educator, if it takes me forever, I won’t do it.  I flipped back and forth on that many times.  On the one hand, in this scenario- I am the learner, I should be spending considerable time on creativity showing my ideas.  On the other hand, should the creative side of showing my ideas overshadow the actual ideas?  In the end, I decided that it was my learning, so it should be showcased in the way that I learn best, and so that is what I did.

Does it summarize what I learned this class? I would say it does to a great degree.

Am I where I want to be when it comes to technology and technology integration?  No for sure not.

But thankfully for all the millions of people sharing ideas through Twitter, and the like, I can find resources with just a click of a button.  When I have the time, I can create flashy video and animations, if and when I have a classroom and believe that is the best use of my time.  For now, I’m happy following leaders that are innovative, and sharing their ideas with my staff, who are in turn, handing much of the creativity over to the students to show their learning.

Allowing students to share in the learning in our classrooms is the destination that I want to get to. Me being familiar with apps and up to date on what is available is only half the journey.  It is great that a teacher has the ability to create multimedia educational resources to help students learn, and it’s great that we have access to online resources that are free.

To me, the most important thing is that we recognize as teachers, that our students have access to the exact same information- the job for us as educators is to help our students learn how to access it, and use it, and in turn share their learning with broader audiences.  We need to stop the idea that when we hand in an assignment our learning is done, when in fact, the product or idea we shared, is actually the start of our learning.

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Draw and Tell

This week we were tasked with finding and reviewing an app.

I used a few different ones last semester in my ECI 834 that I quite enjoyed.  My focus at that time was for a middle years classroom.

This semester, I decided to look for something elementary, as I am spending a decent amount of time in a 1/2 room.

My first approach was to google search education apps. Initially I was quite disappointed.  Everything that came up were consumption apps for lack of a better term.  In my opinion, gamification of flashcard type activities.  I tried searching best children’s creation apps, and found blog.ed.ted.com had a listing of some adds that were listed as creative.

I read through the list, there were a few on there like Animoto, that I had played around with last semester, but the one that stood out to me was the Draw and Tell.  Our early elementary teachers have been using a professional resource called Talking, Drawing, Writing.

It is a great resource, and I thought I would check out the app and see if it would be possible to blend the two.

What I liked:

I liked that it was free.  When I downloaded and opened the app, it is in partership with Khan academy, which I really like.

I liked that the kids can pick background paper or plain blank paper.  They have the option of crayons, pencil crayons, or paintbrushes in a variety of colours.  They can also use photos they have on their device in their stories. There are several stickers that the kids can add to their story and can manipulate them while they record their voices.  There are some pictures there for colouring that may help reluctant story tellers get an idea.  It would also work for having students tell stories using a picture.

The app itself is super easy to use, and I like that it counts down out loud to the kids so they know when they need to start talking.  The kids can illustrate several pages and create a mini book as well.  It is easy to save the photos/video and then just upload them in SeeSaw or whatever LMS or sharing system you may be using in your classroom.

For little kids, the limited ability to share easily is a plus in my mind.

The downfalls:

I don’t think there are enough stickers.  It would be nicer if you could also take photos from the internet or your device and use them as stickers.  I think that may be somewhat limiting for story-telling.  I also wonder if several students are using the app, it only saves to photos on the device, there isn’t an option to save to a certain file.

Overall I liked the ease. I think for kids grade 1 and under it is great.  It can work for grade 2 depending on the level the student is working at.

 

Are My Ideas Worth Sharing?

I wouldn’t always say immediately- but in a general sense… yeah they are.

Do I always share them- face to face…yeah I do.

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So what’s my problem with sharing them online?

I honestly think it is all about comfort level.  And not comfort level of sharing with people I don’t know.  I love attending conferences and always have meaningful discussions with people at my table group, or people I sit with for meals.

Somehow, the sharing I have experienced online is just not the same.  I have found great information, and followed some great blogs and interesting people on Twitter.  I find excellent information, which I immediately connect to and question by watching the videos assigned each week.  I take the information, and share it with friends and colleagues face to face.  Sometimes I will send them the link, and then we discuss it face to face after they have had a chance to look at it as well.  I recognize that this type of sharing limits who I am able to share ideas with, and this is very likely limiting my interactions and opportunities for personal growth, but sharing online just does not feel authentic in some way to me.

After reading several blogs, I am certainly able to make connections.  I completely agree with Ashley that more time has to be set aside so more sharing can happen within schools and meeting time.  I’m with Marley that I love to talk about teaching and resources, but somehow for me it’s still a stretch for me to make that interaction work for me in the context of the online world in this format.

This weeks TedTalk video was likely my favourite this semester.

Johnson asks the question, “What is the space of creativity?”  Continually we look to schools to produce students who are creative thinkers, yet we often don’t provide the space.  As we have read and viewed in the last several weeks, ideas are seldom our own, rather we build on others ideas, change and shape our thoughts into new ideas that we continue to build upon.

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If this is true, that the greatest ideas are built on others ideas, and that original ideas often morph into something else- then we are unlikely to build creativity and great ideas at school.

I love how Johnson talks about ideas being likely to come together in chaotic environments.  I think that schools have started to really look at ways in which we have our kids collaborate more, not have to sit in structured rows, and work quietly on their own all the time.

In schools we have a strong push to make it OK for kids to make mistakes, we even say that it’s OK for professionals to make mistakes- but in both scenarios mistakes aren’t talked about a whole lot, and when they are talked about, it is more about correcting it, which implies that the answer was known all along, not inquiry.

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If ideas take time to come together, and I know they do for me, we often don’t allow for it.  We only have 2.5 months to get through the Earths Crust unit.  Questions or ideas that come from that will no doubt have to wait for 3 years until the curriculum spirals again.  Same goes for meetings.  If you can’t figure it out in the 3 hours allotted, then wait 5 years until the policy or AP is revised.

We do a great job in education with intellectual property, not sharing so much. Who has had nothing but success with group work?

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Inevitably someone, or someone’s parent is not happy with the mark.

Is university different- nope.  I think we have all done a couple projects for other people to get marks.

The thing with sharing- is that someone is always going to have more to share or give on certain things.  And we have to be OK that sometimes we will give more, sometimes we will get more, and in the end there will be mutual benefits.  In our world though, that means a lot of the competition would have to leave, and I’m not sure that we are ready for that.

In the end, do I share enough online?  NO

Will I start?  I hope so.  I think that it is something that I have to continue to work on.  It’s learning a new communication skill, that I currently need a lot of practice with.  The benefit of learning to share online is that you are able to connect with those people who share your passions and interests, even if they are a half a world away!

you get what you pay for?

How many times have you heard that said?

And how many times has it been true?

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Where do I stand with these quotes?  Somewhere in the middle….

The best things in my life are my kids and my husband, are they free?  Sort of.

I didn’t pay up front, but they haven’t been free for the past 25 years either.

When I go back to thinking about my kids, I can’t help but recognize the privilege that they have enjoyed simply by being born to us.  They have fairly well educated, decently paid parents.  That has allowed many advantages. One of the few, is the ability to come up with money to pay for education for them, and not come out of university with the same massive student loan that we did for 15 years.Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to have the loans available, but I can’t help but question how many companies profited from my degree- certainly there were greater benefactors than the UofR.

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This weeks assignment had us look at some open education sources.  I of course looked at them from the perspective of what I could use as a teacher in my classes.  I have used Khan academy in the past with middle years students for math and it has been effective.  My kids always enjoyed using it, and I found that it worked well within a math classroom where I had groups working on different assignments.  In addition, I used it to supplement my instruction: I’m not a math scholar, and I found that the explanations were good.  Many of my more independent students used it almost like a tutorial.

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I looked into the TedEd this week.  I’m not sure why, but I had never used it. I, like Dani found that it was very easy to use.  The search was great, I could choose a subject, choose an academic level, and could do additional learning if I chose.

It was also interesting to me to read about how TedEd is used by students in Vietnam in Thanh’s post. The fact that it is being used around the world speaks to the diversity and global interests that are served and represented in the different videos.

TedEd reminded me quite a lot of EdPuzzle, which I used in my class a few times after being shown it last spring. Many of the same capabilities exist, such as clipping the video, having questions etc.   In some ways, I still prefer the EdPuzzle for a traditional classroom, because it allows you to stop and embed the questions right into the video, or add additional information in the exact spot in the video that you want, rather than referencing and returning to that part of the video if you need hints after.

I liked that as soon as I created my TedEd account, I immediately got an email with some “getting started” advice which certainly was user friendly.   TedEd is certainly something I would use, and I did share it with a couple teachers on our staff.

One thing that seemed the same for many of the OER’s that I scanned through this week is that they are post secondary focused.  There wasn’t much I found in terms of using in a K-12 setting.  I’m wondering if it is because there isn’t really a market at a school age level as education is free in Canada anyway?

The other difficulty I can see is accessing and finding credible sources.  I did a google search just for “free textbooks online”.  While there were many (554 000 000) results, I’m not sure that I would know where to start looking.  It would take a lot of leg work to trace back for credibility.

I go back to nothing in the world being free- and although I notice donation tabs on a few of the OER sites, it may be time consuming to find out where the money comes from to fund the resources, I can’t imagine that many people write entire textbooks out of the goodness of their hearts.

With funding comes bias, and my questions continue….

I’m willing to share: just not my cookies or my toothbrush

But do I have things that you would want?

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Like I’ve said before, I do a lot online in terms of finding resources, doing professional reading, following Twitter for ideas.  Do I share a bunch?  No.

I’m on there looking for ideas to do things differently and better, what do I do, or what do I know that could possibly benefit someone else?

I’ve never really created anything 100% on my own, I’ve taken ideas from all over the place and made them work.  Why would I share that?  Especially with people I don’t know, and who didn’t ask for it?  These people can surely compile the same information that I have.

Dean Shareski makes some key points in his Moral Imperative video.  Education is about sharing.  I share with teachers in my buildings, give them unit plans that I have made, send them links of resources that I have found, gone into classrooms and team taught concepts, and modeled lessons for teachers new to a grade or subject that I had experience with.  Shareski talked about the “Obligation to teach outside the building”.  This struck me in a couple ways.

  1. If what I’m doing in my own building is helping other teachers within my building, it would likely help those in other buildings
  2. The second one is more thought provoking for me, as I teach in a building that has high rates of absenteeism. Although I believe attendance is key in education, it isn’t always happening that kids are attending school.  My first response to sharing in education was with other professionals; however, the impact of sharing classroom lessons and resources online with non-attending students could be life-changing for some.  As a teacher, absenteeism was my nemesis- that hasn’t changed as an administrator.  I constantly hear, “I can’t teach them if they aren’t here”.  Not really true in this day and age.

Shelby talks about how as adult learners we look to the internet to understand new concepts, and use it like a tutor.  I think we are getting better at teaching students to be proactive in their own learning somewhat- but I still see a lot of teacher centered instruction happening as well.  Most of the students that I encounter are not able to take responsibility for their own learning of school work, it continues to be the teachers fault if they are not successful. Interestingly enough, they are learning about many things outside of school on the internet, and creating content and posting to things like YouTube complex learnings and ideas.

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Where is the disconnect?  Could it be that 12 year olds are not interested in the GDP of Canada? Is it because the younger generation is more willing to share their ideas without being paid for them?  Is it because they are more at ease with connecting with people from all around the globe? Is it because they don’t get caught up in copywrite? Maybe it’s just that they like to see themselves online?

I think the disconnect in sharing willingly and effectively online is with adults. Adults like compensation for sharing, and although the idea of teaching being about sharing is true, sites like Teachers Pay Teachers are bringing in a lot of money for sharing resources.

I think another disconnect may be because there is a different value placed on the learning that happens at school and the learning that happens as a “hobby” for lack of a better word in my opinion.  Ze Frank’s notion of life being lived “out there” in virtual spaces is how most all people are interacting now- young and old alike.  And why not, you can access people who have similar interests, learn from experts in the field, connect with friends and family that you otherwise wouldn’t.  Yet somehow, in my opinion, these interactions and learnings are somehow viewed as lessor than those that happen face to face. To me they are also lessor for young people than older people.  If I spend 2 hours online looking for ideas for work or reading professional resources, I am “working”, when kids spend hours online, they are just lazy and unable to interact with their peers without technology.  What is considered to be knowledge is also determined by society.

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I believe that learning in our society isn’t real unless you end up with a diploma/certificate, or a grade. It still appears to me that knowledge is something that in our society requires that you have paid for it for it to be acknowledged.

Am I a slacktivist? Is that even a word?

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Ok- in fairness, I will sometimes share- so long as the issue isn’t too controversial, and I would never have a big gulp- likely a pumpkin spice latte, and I don’t have a mustache and if I did I would wax it, and I don’t wear v-necks, it would likely be a turtleneck, especially in fall, and I don’t have a desktop, it would be a laptop…

but the biggest difference between me and this image: I have never really even thought about using social media for social activism.  In fact, I use it to connect with friends, family, find lesson plan ideas, or recipes, completely ignoring the power it has to make a difference in my community, let alone the country and world. I use social media as a space where I try to forget about the world around me- I haven’t wanted to engage in any form of activism, only pure enjoyment.

I’m not going to lie after reading a few articles and other classmates blogs that I will say in a small, embarrassed, inside my head voice that I actually am sometimes annoyed by my step-daughters continual posts about veganism, and my friends continual posts about animal rights.  I often don’t even pay attention to them anymore- scroll quickly through to someone’s baby pictures.

THAT’S RIGHT- I CAN’T EVEN BE CONSIDERED A SLACTIVIST as Amy referred to – I’M SO MUCH LESS!

Katia’s question about our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online is a big one.  Like Chris, I tend to not rock the boat a lot when it comes to social media activism, but I also agree with him that it is our job as educators to make people better.  And I recognize I have done none of this.  That’s actually a pretty strange thing for me to admit and think about, as I tend to be pretty in your face when it comes to social injustice and inequality.  I don’t only teach it to my students, but I will go toe to toe with any parent or community member who challenges decisions at school that bring to light those issues.  I am the one complaining that our SLC is only worried about pep rallies and spirit weeks, and not championing our Orange Shirt Day, or getting involved in food or clothing drive.

What I say I believe in:                                                                                                              

 What my online presence shows I believe in:

This links well for me to our previous post about creating a social media identity- things like branding our schools, and ourselves.  What do we present to the world through our online profile.  This feels like the next layer to that.  If in my Twitter profile I indicate that I am interested in anti-oppressive education, or Treaty Education- my online presence needs to show that is the truth- put your money where your mouth is kind of thing. At this point, my profile indicates that I am an educator passionate about many things, but my presence shows that I enjoy crafts and baking.

I have struggled with this all week, and will continue to struggle with it for a while yet I’m thinking.  That’s likely not a bad thing.  I am honestly not 100% sure, but I think that I’ve never considered the impact that social media may have on activism, thinking that many people are like me, and just scroll through things- and don’t pay much attention to the hundreds or thousands of posts.

Obviously, I recognize the exposure that some campaigns receive, but I guess I’ve always felt that exposure is only half the battle- although important.  I found an interesting, short post that highlights the need to move from awareness to action.

  1. keep the action simple
  2. connect to real life campaigns
  3. understand  limitations

In retrospect, I’ve been a little lazy.  Rather than like or share a post, if it strikes a cord with me, I need to do a little research about how I can actually help, be ACTIVE.  Share and comment about a local agency that is doing work to support the issue that I am interested in.

Clearly- I have a little grappling with my online identity and use, and moving into the modern world where activism is as much what I post as what I do or say in person.

 

 

To be or not to be…Digital Identity

So I googled myself- turns out I’m not super exciting!  That being said, I didn’t find anything that would give me cause of alarm either.

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I am a pretty private person, I have good friends that I enjoy spending time with, and they know most everything about me,  but there aren’t many of them.  I have Facebook, but my friends are limited to those I know quite well and family.  I have a few people on there that I know casually, as I live in a small town and most everyone.  I don’t share much on there.  Usually a few pictures of trips, possibly share a recipe, that’s about it.

I have a Twitter account.  I use it a lot actually to find articles related to work, however I don’t post or share often.  The majority of my Pinterest pins are kept locked, because I don’t want people I don’t know having access to what I like to bake or craft. I am learning from what others are being willing to share, however I’m not sharing my knowledge with others.  When I write this I don’t sound like a good digital friend.

Teachers are tasked with  helping  students understand how to build their own digital identities, when often the teachers themselves are not being careful in building their own.  As a new administrator, I have had several discussions with staff about being friends with students, and for that matter parents.  It’s a tricky situation in a small community.  The sharing of one picture, meant completely as a joke can have some pretty big impact.

Let’s call this evidence A:

 

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Clearly this is meant to be funny- post it to Facebook, and suddenly there are calls to the school about the post.  What happens when a teacher friend posts something like this and then tags you in it?  Suddenly, the digital identity that you are working to build is not at all how you hope to be portrayed.  How about the ever famous beer in hand photo at your cousins wedding?  Once it’s on Facebook, there is judgement of character. And it’s permanent, it won’t just haunt you today, it will lurk forever.

These downsides inhibit me from fully engaging in social media, and having my students, and now my school fully engage.  I need to work harder on the positives, and the necessity. Like Christina, I’m working on facing the reality. I also need to push my thinking about social media beyond Facebook and Snapchat, and I need to push my students beyond that as well. Our school has a Facebook page, because it’s easy to connect with parents, but its a shallow form of communication.  I much prefer SeeSaw or Google Classroom interactions with parents.  A platform where we can truly communicate our learning.

George Couros discusses the importance of digital identities for students.  He believes that before leaving school all students should have

a) a professional social network

b) a digital portfolio

c) an about me page

For me the key is a professional social network, teaching kids that there is a difference between personal and professional, and the difficulties in keeping them separated in the online ecosystem of interconnections that exist.  This TedTalk does a really good job of framing social media and digital identity.

 

This video is something that I would share with students, and my staff.

The question is not whether or not we have digital footprints, the question is whether or not our digital footprint shows the world what we want portrayed.  Will our footprint land us a job, or will it prevent us from getting one?  How will our digital footprint make us successful in a global world?

social kids- anti-social schools?

How does a school system that was created hundreds of years ago, and remains basically unchanged meet the needs of the students of today?

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When I was born, there was no such thing as a mobile device, let alone any of the other applications listed.  Why then is the school I teach in so similar to the one I was educated in? Further to that- what am I doing as a teacher and an administrator to change it?

I was looking at a Saskatchewan social textbook last week.  I remember when our division rolled them out and how happy I was to receive the resource about 5 years ago.  Looking at it this past week a few things struck me:

  1. The textbooks cost tens of thousands of dollars or more for our division to purchase
  2. The textbook is very dated already, things like Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, Truth and Reconciliation aren’t even mentioned.  These topics are on the news every night. Not just on the news, but in their news feeds, (case in point current Balgonie High issues about alleged racism). Clearly, if I’m using that new, already dated resource, I’m not even teaching my kids information that is relevant to the here and now, and worst case scenario, the information I’m teaching from that resource may even be wrong in today’s context!

 

Pavan Arora makes some very interesting points, and really made me think.  How do we teach the “how”, when we’ve been taught to teach the “what”.  Everything around us changes, but not education.  Arora makes a good point that technology is growing and changing at a rate never before seen, but at the same time, our world has never been static, it’s always been changing.

We drive cars, not horses, we pay with debit cards, not cash, we watch movies on Netflix, not VHS.  Generally speaking, we have embraced the changes, except in education, where our day is still subject by subject, curriculum by curriculum, missing as Lima demonstrated, the interconnectedness of learning. The teacher is still the top of the educational tree, there to impart knowledge, while kids sit in rows, with hands raised to share their thinking.  This is not the real world of our kids, who can share their thoughts with thousands instantly through Facebook posts, Snapchat stories, and Twitter.  I’m pretty sure school does not feel very authentic.

Brown and Addler make the point that current methods of teaching and learning will not prepare students for the lives that they will lead in the 21st century. I would agree.  Kids can learn about the things they are interested in on their own, I agree with Taylor that students must be critical.  I believe that the role of teachers is to teach students to be critical of what they read, view, and hear.  We must help students evaluate, synthesize, and summarize information.  We must show students how to create safe global networks, and share their learning with others.  The days of impressing our kids by attempting to teach them about the solar system are over.  If they are interested, they can connect with the space station or an astronaut for themselves.

We can only ignore the technology available to our kids for so long, and by attempting to keep them safe by denying access, we may in fact place them in situations that aren’t safe for them.

 

 

What qualifies as authentic learning?

In the education community the phrase “21st century teaching”, or “21st century learning” are tossed around ALOT.  Who can tell me what that actually looks like in a school?  Are there schools who do it school wide, or is it limited to a few teachers some of the time?”

The other phrase I hear constantly is “data-driven instruction”, and I’m struggling with it.  If we are truly considering data, we would be responsive to reading and writing and math data scores.  Rather than pulling kids into small groups for things like LLI and smaller intervention models, (which I believe do have a place in good instruction), we would be changing the way we learn in our schools, start being responsive to how our kids actually learn.

The funniest thing about how we expect our kids to learn is not at all how we are learning as adults.

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 I seldom take my computer out at home these days.  There is very little I do that I can’t do on my phone.  In fact, if I wanted, this entire assignment could be done on my phone.  I can check and approve staff absences, do all my communication with collegues, keep up with friends and family on social media, watch TV or movies, listen to audiobooks on my way to work.  You name it, it’s at my finger tips.  I don’t bother to log onto my computer to get the weather, look up a quick fact- I grab my phone.  Yet I sit through staff meeting after staff meeting listening to the reasons why cel phones shouldn’t be allowed in class, despite the fact that our staff sits through the entire staff meeting on their phone.

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Is there a chance that kids will be distracted, or possibly access something that they shouldn’t?  Of course, there is always a chance: and the chance gets greater everytime we don’t take an opportunity to teach them how to work with the technology in responsible ways.  If we are going to look at data driven teaching, the following data should also be considered:

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Technology is not going away, it’s pretty clear that our kids are using it- as educators it is imperative that we encourage kids to connect with others to learn, and at the same time teach them how to be safe doing it.

Are kids different now that they used to be?  I think in many ways.  When I was in school, I had to hang around with the people who were there.  I didn’t have an opportunity to learn with or connect with people who shared the same interests as me,  or connect with people on the other side of the world to understand issues through their perspectives.  What I don’t think has changed at all is that kids want to connect with other people. Just because we didn’t have the opportunity to connect globally, I’m not sure why we would want to take it away from kids now.

Kids are using media CONSTANTLY, and we need to understand the power that can have.  Caroline Knorr offers some of the positives we can help kids tap into.

 

 

half way there!!!- well almost…

I’ve finally made it to the half way point in this Masters program adventure!

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When I started, I had no plans at all to move into administration, but the road is never straight, and I took the opportunity in the spring to move into a principalship.  I am commuting each day, and getting to know a new wonderful staff and kids, but I’m not going to lie, I’m unsure some days if I made the right choice. I debated taking a class this fall with a new position, but I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t push myself, it’ll be harder to get into the groove next semester.

We have a couple options for the class assignment.  We can design something amazing for our classroom and students…

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Or we can chose to teach ourselves a new skill…

I haven’t taken time for a long time to learn something new, so I went with option 2.

learning something new
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I tend to like all kinds of “craft” type things; embroidery, sewing, painting, etc.  I learned to knit when I was 6 or 7 because my grandma was a saint and had more patience than anyone I know.  I have knit everything from baby blankets to afghans, to sweaters, toques, you name it.  One thing I can’t do though is crochet.

My mom knows how, but although she was raised by my grandma, didn’t inherit her patience and never taught us how.  Even as adults, she lacks the patience to teach us.

So that’s it- I’m going to learn to crochet!

This class will also give me, or I should say force myself to find the time to give myself to learn.

I have already discovered that upon google search there are just over 3.6 million videos on how to crochet, as well as several other text pages.  I shouldn’t be at a loss for resources. Nor should I be at a loss for motivation to learn a skill I want to know how to do.

Gives new thought to what we teach, why we teach it, and how we teach it…..