All posts by Donna Fry

I am a Secondary School Principal in Northwestern Ontario, currently on secondment with the Ontario Ministry of Education as the Provincial Lead for Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching, a proud member of OSAPAC, co-lead of OSSEMOOC, and a member of the Board of Directors of ECOO.

School

School

Now close your eyes.  What’s in your head?

We gather around that word.

We want good schools, the BEST schools for our kids.  Schools provide hope.  Schools help kids succeed.

And if we could just get rid of this discovery nonsense and get back to basics…

But is “school” what our kids need in this VUCA world, where computational speeds double every year, where “relevance” is a moving target?

And when we think of school, and the purpose of school, do we have the same things in our heads?

Maybe, as a senior education leader said to me last week, we need a whole new word.  A word that lets us begin again, start from scratch, build something new for 2017.

And what would we call it?

What other words are holding us back in education?

Photo on Unsplash by Eli Francis

What would you add to this list?

1. School

2. Blended Learning

3. eLearning

4. Student Achievement

5. Student Success

““““““`

This is Part 1 of a 5 day blog challenge #5posts5days issued by Carlo Fusco 

Please take time to read and comment on the other blogs:

Brandon Grasley on parenting: Learning at Home…

Carlo Fusco: Why Blog?

Chris Gamble on Tweet Cred: What makes some more credible than others?

Jessica Weber on What is Teaching?

Resources:

What is School For?

Stop Stealing Dreams

Featured image by Alan Levine CC-BY-2.0

Please view this post on my own domain here.

Credentialing vs. Learning Online: Navigating the Tension

In Ontario, AQ [Additional Qualification] courses for Teachers are Approved by the Ontario College of Teachers.  There are very specific components of an AQ Course that must be completed in order to achieve the qualification, which then demonstrates to others in Ontario that you are capable and competent in teaching in specific grade or subject areas, or in certain areas such as eLearning or Special Education.

Most of these AQ Courses are now available online.

The tension comes when teachers taking an online AQ think that online secondary school courses should follow the same principles and practices as the online AQ.

AQ Courses are normally provided through an LMS (Learning Management System).  They are content driven, linear, and require the completion of specific tasks.  Much of the “community building” and sharing is through online text-based discussions.  Assignments are uploaded to a dropbox and evaluated by an instructor, normally without any triangulation of assessment (conversations, observations, products).

But is this how we want teachers to then go back and teach our students in online environments?

Are we demonstrating that online learning is not meant to be the “dissemination of teacher-driven content“,  but a way to give learners agency and ownership of their own learning, outside of the confines of classroom walls, and teacher-defined content?

And when the course is the credential [AQ] for “Teaching and Learning Through eLearning”,  how can we ensure that we model open practice,  inquiry and learner agency, within a linear, compliance-based model?

Those achieving the AQ must recognize that eLearning is much more than what the online AQ is modelling, or we continue to perpetuate old teacher-directed product-based classroom structures through those we qualify to lead online learning in this province.

Featured image by Tanguy Sauvin on Unsplash

Please view this post on my own domain here.

Why Build a Wall?

This is a wall:

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-8-06-24-am

If your purpose is to protect information, this wall is useful.

If your purpose is to make money on the information, this wall is useful.

But if your purpose is to share information, this wall will keep people out.

When we are trying to build a community, even if everyone has a password, this wall will keep people out.

What are you trying to hide?

From Doug Belshaw: We should be continually asking the question, can we make this public?

Because that’s how knowledge moves, ideas connect, people learn, innovation begins, and our world becomes a better place for our kids.

More Thinking on Open Practice:

Matt Thompson: How to Work Open

Doug Belshaw: The Importance of Working Open in Education

Mike Caulfield: New Directions in Open Education

Open Education Leadership

Learning Math in the Open

Featured image shared by Stephen Downes under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial license

Please view this post on my own domain here.

 

Rethinking “Digital Footprint”

24 Digital Life skills

Last week, we learned that we have to completely rethink how we teach critical thinking on the web.

Today, as I dig into the idea of digital footprint, I realize we have to completely rethink our approach to this as well.  Health and Protection, just 3 years ago, was seen as this (by Ontario teachers).  It was, at the time, a very comprehensive look at how we teach our kids to be safe online.

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-10-35-56-pm OSAPAC Digital Citizenship Resource, Creative Commons Licensed https://www.osapac.ca/dc/

But with Artificial Intelligence and the use of algorithms to track our data, Digital Footprint management is now so much more.

From the World Economic Forum:

Digital footprints: The ability to understand the nature of digital footprints and their real-life consequences and to manage them responsibly

How we “manage them responsibly” now that we are aware of much more invasive “real-life consequences” is something every teacher needs…

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Showing Our Love for Bloggers – #ontedblogs

Here’s a simple next step to support the sharing of professional practice across Ontario.

24 Digital Life skills

The open web is a place where everyone has a voice – a place for ideas, conversations, and sharing.  However, when we “exist online” mainly inside our mobile apps, being fed a algorithm-driven diet of content based on our likes and other in-app activity, we lose sight of the importance of the democratic web.

Bloggers take time to share learning and thinking openly on the web, but this content rarely gets eyeballs inside corporately-owned sites like Facebook.

It’s exciting, motivating, thought-provoking, and encouraging to get comments on a blog post.  It means someone has read your work, considered it, and taken the time to share back.

If we value the open voices of bloggers who share, we need to take time to read their work and engage in important conversations.

Last month, Tina Zita encouraged us all to blog more regularly with her #10days10posts challenge

As we move into February, let’s show…

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Busting the [Filter] Bubble

This week, I have been participating in a #10days10blogs challenge, exploring the theme of digital filter bubbles.

I hope you will enjoy the posts, beginning here.

3/10 – How the “smart phone” and mobile apps have changed the way we interact online

4/10 – Historical perspective – the co-created open web to corporately owned platforms

5/10 – Algorithms: What’s controlling what you see and read?

6/10 – Information Literacy: What will your lesson plan look like now?

7/10 – Videos and Images – From Facts to Feelings

8/10 – Popularity over Importance: Celebrity culture in a time of wicked world problems

9/10 – The Attention Economy

10/10 – Escape Your [Filter] Bubble

I welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions as I learn more about who has the power in our interconnected, yet insular, digital world.

Featured image from NASA on Unsplash.

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Some initial resources:

CBC Ideas: The Insular Web

Tech Gypsies Podcast (caution – adult language)

Danah Boyd – Why America is Self-Segregating