Tag Archives: Andy Hargreaves

Where’s the Beef? – 6/10

When we talk about “Visible Learning” and “Visible Thinking”, can we now focus more on the Thinking and Learning than on the Visible?

This post is part of a 10 day posting challenge issued by Tina Zita. You can’t be a connected educator if you don’t contribute. Sometimes we need a nudge to remember that if nobody shares, nobody learns. Thanks Tina!

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Recently, I was sharing some learning on Twitter with a colleague from the Early Years Division.  I did my homework, and decided to show her my favourite hashtag – #FDK (full day kindergarten).  This demonstration never fails to bring smiles to peoples’ faces, as it is filled with young children doing activities in kindergarten.

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But this time, my colleague said, “I see lots of activities.  What about learning, how do I find that?”

It made me think, once again, about that word value.

There is lots of “noise” on Twitter.  How do we help educators find the value through all the “noise”?

How do we ensure that we are not looking at flashy “busywork”, but that  we are engaging in online examples of visible student and educator  learning?

This book excerpt from Eric Sheninger caught my eye:

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Excerpted from the book, “UnCommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids,” by Eric Sheninger, published by Corwin, 2015. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/01/14/how-to-determine-if-student-engagement-is-leading-to-learning/

Just because we see pictures of kids doing cool stuff in blogs and on Twitter, doesn’t mean learning is happening.

Last spring, Andy Hargreaves performed an experiment with the audience at #uLead15.  He showed portions of images to the audience, and asked whether the students appeared to be engaged or not.  The demonstration showed us that we need to question our understanding of the word “engagement”.

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The appearance of student engagement does not necessarily mean that learning is happening.

Seeing “engaged students” on social media prompts questions about whether we are looking at real engagement, and whether or not learning is actually occurring.

Shared by Bill Ferriter under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 license https://www.flickr.com/photos/plugusin/12188001525/
Shared by Bill Ferriter under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 license https://www.flickr.com/photos/plugusin/12188001525/

Perhaps when we are viewing “visible thinking”, we need to focus more on the thinking than the visible.

Not all that is visible on social media is learning.

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Featured image by Dean Shareski, shared under CC-BY-NC-2.0: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shareski/3537232931/

After writing this post, I noticed that George Couros is thinking along similar lines.

… and that David Truss is looking at learning here: How Do You Know When Students Are Learning?

Looking for the [Student] Learning Intention

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Image shared under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, Share-alike license by Waag Society https://www.flickr.com/photos/waagsociety/16508212342/

 

Online every day I see what appear to be amazing things that educators are doing in their classrooms.  As a connected leader and learner, I tend to be quick to praise, to share, to encourage and to promote practice.

But is this my best practice?

Do I know enough about what I am encouraging?

Recently, I have been exploring the impact of the “enthusiastic amateur”.

The term “enthusiastic amateur” refers to educators who have “emerged from the cave” and who have embraced the power of technology in the classroom.  The are often loud with their enthusiasm.  They are excited about their learning and they share share openly.

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Image shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license by Giulia Forsythe https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/5617449053/

 

This can be a step in the journey to understand the power of technology to change learning in the ‘classroom’.  We are all on the path of learning as we integrate the use of technology into our school system.  However, at all times, student learning must be at the centre of our practice.

Andy Hargreaves explains the concept of “innovation without improvement” very nicely in this video.  Michelle Cordy has explored this idea more concisely here.

Certainly we want to encourage educators to learn about how technology can be leveraged to enhance where, when and how learning can take place.

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Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike License by David Jones https://www.flickr.com/photos/david_jones/5615150900/

 

How do we best ensure educators are using technology to to deepen learning aligned with the learning intentions for the students?

 

 

The Answers Can’t Be Found In The Back of the Book

2014 is coming to a close, and as I read the many excellent reflective educator “end of the year” blogs, so many are asking how to move forward in 2015.

There is no simple answer to that question.

What will it take to transform our schools into the centres of learning our children need?

What can we do to #CTW (Change the World) in 2015? So many educators are already giving so much to their work.

Fullan and Hargreaves (2012: Professional Capital, p.3) warn about the dangers of individual educators in unsupportive environments.

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How do we create the conditions that allow our best thinkers, our teacher leaders, to thrive?

In “Great to Excellent: Launching the Next Stage of Ontario’s Education Agenda” (2013), Michael Fullan outlines the importance of “leading from the middle”. Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 3.47.59 PM   Are we building the capacity of our best education thinkers to lead from the middle?  Is leading from the middle even possible in our current system?

No longer is it necessary for educators to progress through a series of AQ courses or PQP qualifications to learn and think deeply about practice.  Rich learning and conversations are available 24/7 on social media like twitter.  Leaders with and without titles are learning and sharing with others around the world.

But are their own colleagues open to their new thinking?

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Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution License by Steven Depolo

What happens when school, board and provincial policies are challenged by educators who think differently? Is anyone listening? More importantly, is anyone providing encouragement to continue?

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Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license by Frank Jakobi.

It takes enormous courage to question those who make decisions about public education. Are we embracing those who ask the questions?

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For @Dunlop_Sue, my “one word” for 2015 has to be COURAGE. We all need to have the courage to put student learning at the very centre of every decision we make, even if it means challenging the status quo.

Be courageous in 2015. Put student learning first.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 4.36.58 PMWhat is your “one word” for 2015? Tweet it under the hashtag #oneword or if you are from Ontario, tweet it as #onewordONT right now. Let’s see what matters in education this year both on the world and #Ontario fronts.

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