Tag Archives: blog

Are you Asking the Right Questions?

Yesterday, a colleague, Sean Mieghan,  posted a great little video that clearly demonstrates the importance of asking the right questions.

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“Life is Good” owners tell us that their ideas came from the questions their mother asked every day at the dinner table.  She empowered them to come up with ideas – lots of them!

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In the same way that task predicts performance, asking the different questions can change the learning. As educators, how often do we work at asking better questions?

Further reading: https://suedunlop.ca/two-essential-questions-for-reflection/

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Featured image shared under a CC-BY-2.0 licence by Alan Levine.

Building a Professional Learning Network (some resources) – 3/10

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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Who can help me answer my inquiry question?

Today I worked with my colleagues to support educators in establishing inquiry questions.

Part of our work has been finding the resources to  meet the individual needs of each educator.  The TBCDSB leadership team asked me to join the group to share the process of becoming a networked learner.

I spent the morning getting to know the needs of the learners in the room, and then created these resources tailored to their requests.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 2.23.03 PMI leveraged my own PLN to find the resources.

In learning that several of the educators were teacher-librarians, I asked my colleague, Mark Carbone, about where to find the work he has been doing with Carlo Fusco.

The video we shared can be found here: http://blog.markwcarbone.ca/2015/10/23/shifting-perspectives-on-libraries/

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My colleague, Cindy Carr, shared this video with the group.

This Will Revolutionize Education

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 2.23.31 PM The educator inquiries are around Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching.

We were able to share the work of several educators who have an open practice, and who invite others into their classrooms.

Connecting with other educators does have an impact on student learning.  We are working to demonstrate the value of connections.

The shared resources are in the slides embedded below.

Thanks to my PLN for your support today in helping me to support other educators.

From Anita Drossis:

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What’s the Professional Reading List for Educators? The Shift…

“The reading isn’t merely a book, of course. The reading is what we call it when you do the difficult work of learning to think with the best, to stay caught up, to understand.

The reading exposes you to the state of the art. The reading helps you follow a thought-through line of reasoning and agree, or even better, challenge it. The reading takes effort.”

Seth Godin

 

What do we need to read to stay caught up in our profession?

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The Ontario College of Teachers sets out the Standards of Practice for the profession in Ontario.

One of the Standards is Professional Learning:

Ontario College of Teachers: https://www.oct.ca/public/professional-standards/standards-of-practice
Ontario College of Teachers: https://www.oct.ca/public/professional-standards/standards-of-practice

 

Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/did-you-do-the-reading.html
Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/did-you-do-the-reading.html

Do you know where to go and what to read to keep up in your profession?  Recently, Seth Godin commented on this.

Many leaders in education will tell you that they most certainly do know what to read to stay current, and to share with other educators.  Books, research – all important to the foundations of our learning for our profession.

But we also must be willing to be disturbed in this thinking, because in 2015, we need to be much more agile and flexible in our learning, as thinking changes and innovation happens much faster than books can be published and research papers can be finished.

This is Seth's Blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/did-you-do-the-reading.html
This is Seth’s Blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/did-you-do-the-reading.html

 

In choosing what to read, we have to consider,

“What is the core role of a teacher?”.

Catherine Montreuil, Assistant Deputy Minister of Education in Ontario, explains this better than anyone else I know.

Our role is to ensure learning – that progressing toward learning goals –  is happening.  It is not okay for any child to be stuck and not learning.

We do not have to do this alone, but we have to ensure that we are doing everything we can for every single child in our care.  We know our best practice.  When that isn’t working, we have to find our next practice.

 

Finding our “next” practice: Our ability to share our practice with others has changed exponentially over the past decade.  Our ability to find out what others are doing – the practices that are working elsewhere – now requires digital literacies, the ability and understanding of how to leverage online tools to access the curated stream of information that can lead to our next practice.

In the same way that we once had to learn to use the card catalog in the library, we now must know how to access digital spaces to find the content we need.

This is Seth's Blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/did-you-do-the-reading.html
This is Seth’s Blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/did-you-do-the-reading.html

 

The reading list for educators has shifted.

The reading list now includes the blogs where other educators are sharing, and the tweets where other educators curate and share the information that is valuable to them in their professional practice.

And the culture is participatory.  

If you are an educator, there is a moral obligation to use your digital literacies and share your practice with others, so that all of our students benefit from the collective work of our profession.

 

Why Leave All That Learning Only in Your Head?

So many educators reading so many books that impact their practice!

 

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That was my takeaway from #satchat this morning, and #ontedleaders last week as we were challenged to share the reading that was impacting our work at this time.

 

I can’t possibly read all of those books, but my colleagues in my PLN have made me so curious about what is in those books and how it might impact my thinking!

 

 

 

What if we all just blogged about oScreen Shot 2015-10-31 at 9.49.36 AMur reading?

 

 

We ask students to write book reports.

Why don’t we model the importance of sharing our learning in an open, searchable, collaborative way?

If we read a chapter, then reflected, summarized and shared, with appropriate tagging, how could we impact student learning as a community?

 

 

Thank you to those already doing this, such as Stacey Wallwin (@WallwinS) and Brenda Sherry (@brendasherry).

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If you haven’t considered it, OSSEMOOC can help you get started with creating a blog. and with viewing the blogs of other educators as examples.

As you think about your own PLN, consider what you are learning, AND what you are contributing to the learning of others.

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Resources:

Making Thinking Visible Through Blogging

Yes, It’s Time to Start Your Own Blog

A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog

 

Where is Your Blog?

If you are an educator, you need a blog.

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It’s 2015.

Where are you creating your digital identity?

Where do you share resources with other educators?

Where do you reflect on your practice?

Where are you having conversations about learning and teaching?

Where do you model the learning we want to see in every classroom?

How do you demonstrate the Standards of Practice of the profession?

Where do you maintain a professional portfolio?

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Thank you to Dean Shareski (@shareski) for sharing this slide. The image links to the source on slideshare.

 

Last evening we had a rich conversation in the #OSSEMOOC open mic around why educators are not blogging.

1. Not enough time.

Educators are the hardest working people I know, hands down.  No contest.  They would NEVER think of not preparing for classes or not providing feedback on student work.

Isn’t blogging and sharing and reflecting just as important? How long does it take to share a few thoughts online?  How long does it take to upload a file to share?

 

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2. Fear of judgment.

Creating a safe environment for risk-taking is a classroom priority. Why do we make it hard for our colleagues to share their practice? Do our students feel they will be judged when we ask them to share? How do we model to our students that learning and sharing and growing together is a valuable use of our time?

3. Don’t know how.

Get started here:

Start connecting here: https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-1/

Why you need to make thinking visible through blogging here:

https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-22-making-thinking-visible-through-blogging/

Why you need to start your own blog here:

https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-23-yes-its-time-to-start-your-own-blog/

How to start your blog here:

https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-24-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-blog/

How others use their blogs (modelling) here: https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-25-you-have-a-blog-now-what/

How to turn your blog into a professional portfolio here:

https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-26-your-blog-as-your-portfolio/

Making your blog YOUR online space for sharing:

https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-27-more-blog-considerations/

4. It’s not really valued.

You are right.  It isn’t. At least not yet.

Until we teach in the B.Ed. program that open reflective practice and demonstration of the Standards of Practice of the profession is a necessity, we won’t see it.

Until we ask to see a blog with every job application, be it teacher, principal or system leader, we won’t value it.

Until every PQP and SOQP course makes open sharing, connecting, collaborating, reflecting and learning important, we won’t insist on it.

 

But let’s not wait!

The value in reflecting, sharing, conversing, connecting and honouring our amazing work in schools is obvious.

Let’s tell our own stories of the learning happening in our classrooms and schools.  The stories are powerful.

Share them widely.

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Special thanks to @timrobinsonj for sharing pixabay.com

 

 

Answering Questions Leaders Ask About Blogging

Today I was fortunate to be part of a group of Ontario leaders* learning through a series of webcasts sponsored by CPCO/ADFO/OPC.  George Couros returned to talk further about how we can use blogs as a personal portfolio.

I was particularly interested in the kinds of questions people were asking about blogging, and how we might be able to provide some more robust responses without the time constraints of the webcast.

Here are a few.

1. How do I get started?

#OSSEMOOC has prepared an extensive outline to help leaders start blogging here: https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-22-making-thinking-visible-through-blogging/

2. How do I know what the best site is for blogging?

#OSSEMOOC has posted a comparison of blogging sites for educators here:  https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-23-yes-its-time-to-start-your-own-blog/

3. Aren’t you afraid of making your opinions public and then having them online forever?

Why not start with blogging facts instead of opinions?  When we scaffolded the blogging process for Ontario leaders last year, we asked them to simply share, “What did you learn today?“.  Are you reading a book?  Share what you are reading.  Did you go to a conference, or sit through a webinar?  What did you learn?  There is nothing controversial about simply sharing what you learn with others.

*NOTE: Nicole Hamilton wrote this post last night after attending an OSSEMOOC open mic session.  It is the story of her learning at the session. If we all told the stories of our learning, imagine how much more learning everyone would have access to! 

4. How do you possibly have enough time in the day to do this?

Do you have 10 minutes to devote to your own personal growth?  OSSEMOOC has a series devoted to becoming a connected leader in only 10 minutes a day.  Start here, and stick with it!

5.  How do we get more followers?

Write your blog for yourself.  Post your learning so that it is searchable.  You will never lose your notes again!  Then, share it with OSSEMOOC to post on our site, and share it through other social media.

6. How do I keep my blogging from becoming essay-writing?

Check out other blogs.  See what style works for you.  You can see school and system leader and teacher blogs on the OSSEMOOC website – all in one place.

7. Why do I need to do this?

That requires a post all of its own: https://fryed.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/why-do-we-need-connected-leaders/

Leaders in the webcast were also asked these questions.  What do you think?

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*leader in the informal sense of the word, not the formal “title”.  If you are working to move your practice forward in education and to model the learning you want to see, you are a leader.  Some questions about the use of the term “instructional leader” can be found here.

Sharing our Passion for Connecting Education Leaders: TEDxKitchenerED

Mark Carbone and I recently took advantage of the opportunity to share our passion for connecting education leaders at the TEDxKitchenerED event.

If you are wondering about #OSSEMOOC, here is the story of how we are working to connect leaders, and helping Ontario learners, to thrive in the complexities of teaching and learning in today’s rapidly changing world.