Tag Archives: education

It’s Not Okay To Give Only Some People…

“It’s not okay to give only some people the Internet”

Project Loon, Google Summit, 2014

It’s Day 2 of #GAFEsummit in Kitchener.  We are talking a lot about #futureready, Digital Talent, collaborative documents, Google Hangouts – all the tools and ideas that support collaboration across distance and time.

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As much as I always advocate for internet access for ALL students, it wasn’t until I came across this chair in the upstairs hallway of Eastwood Collegiate, that the full force of the months and months of hearing about the Inquest into First Nations student deaths in Thunder Bay hit me with full force.

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Written by Jody Porter (@cbcreporter) http://www.cbc.ca/interactives/longform/entry/deep-water-indigenous-youth-death

 

It isn’t necessary any more for students to leave their home communities to got to school – unless they want to.  We already have everything we need to support students in learning wherever and whenever they want to.

In addition, as Jaime Casap so aptly said here at #GAFEsummit, coding is a wonderful career for students who want to work from home because the work is international and not dependent on location.

Everyone can participate in the digital economy, including digital education, from home.

If they have access to the internet.

Who will make this happen?  

Who will make sure there are no more empty chairs?

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What Does Innovation Mean to Me? BlogHop for #InnovatorsMindset

This post is part of a blog hop on innovation.  Details can be found here.

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Innovation in Education is…

For me, innovation in education has two parts:

a) successfully navigating barriers to create an inclusive, participatory, and responsive learning environment for everyone, and

b) building relationships to successfully and collaboratively break down those barriers to innovation.

We can’t wait for the barriers to come down.  Learning needs are too urgent.  We need to work around the barriers to meet those learning needs.

But at the same time, we can’t stop working to bring those barriers down, in a way that is supported by our community of learners.

Connections

Innovation requires connections.  Education 3.0 is all about connections.  More connections means more ideas, which leads to better ideas (Crowd accelerated innovation).

Shared by Dr. Jackie Gerstein under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/experiences-in-self-determined-learning-moving-from-education-1-0-through-education-2-0-towards-education-3-0/
Shared by Dr. Jackie Gerstein under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/experiences-in-self-determined-learning-moving-from-education-1-0-through-education-2-0-towards-education-3-0/

What are the Barriers?

CEA recently looked at barriers to change in education.

  • The system values kids who fit the mould.  They do school or they leave school.

 

  • Time (scheduled classes) is a constraint on learning – experiential learning, without the constraints of time, is what we often remember as valuable

 

Image shared by Lisa Neale, Principal, Ancaster Senior Public School
Image shared by Lisa Neale, Principal, Ancaster Senior Public School
  • Confining physical spaces – having to learn in specific places.
  • Competition at all levels is negative – competition among students, competition among schools, competition among school districts (e.g., which of 4 boards in Ontario will you enrol you child in?)

 

  • Competition limits spread of ideas because there is value in a higher ranking.  Sharing makes it more difficult to win, yet ideas are needed for innovation.

 

  • Fear of being judged.  This is a pervasive response from both students and educators.  Has “growth mindset” thinking made a difference?  We can’t do amazing things with kids without the courage to get over the fear of being judged.

 

  • Creative risk takers?  We need innovative leaders, yet rarely are creative risk takers seen  as leaders in education.

 

Shared by Karl Baron under a CC-BY-2.0 license.
Shared by Karl Baron under a CC-BY-2.0 license.

One of the biggest barriers to innovation in education is that the two-digit number that represents children, and where they rank among their peers, determines the learning they will have access to in the future.

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Shared by Dean Shareski under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 license.

We decide on the available education paths by the average mark on the school report card.

When you create a system where a mark determines a future, you can’t ever make it about something else.

Learning to work around and through barriers, while maintaining positive relationships, is successful educational innovation – making the learning needs of all our students the true priority.

Shared by Andrew Forgrave under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 licence.
Shared by Andrew Forgrave under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 licence.

 

Some other thinking about Innovation from Ontario Educators:

Stacey Wallwin

Jennifer Casa-Todd

Tina Zita

Paul McGuire

Patrick Miller

Mark Carbone

Check out more at OSSEMOOC!

*Featured Image created by Tina Zita

Resources:

CEA: Innovation means giving up control

CEA: Sources of Innovation (Stephen Hurley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Don’t Think Differently (or do we?) – 7/10

Do we think differently, or have we just learned differently?

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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Silence.

You’ve felt that right?

You know, it happens when you say something like, “Why would we not just share that openly on a blog for everyone to see?” – and the room goes silent.

For those of us in the Lone Wolf Pack, this is our normal.

We are told that we “think differently”.

I’m not sure I buy that.  I am not sure that I believe we “think differently”. I wonder if we have just been through very different learning experiences.

We have been learning as networked, connected learners for years – decades in fact.  We have been learning in spaces yet to be discovered, yet to be respected, yet to be acknowledged by the status quo in our profession.

We have been learning different content.  We have been learning through ideas.

Ideas just pop into our network all the time.  Seeing and exploring new ideas daily, hourly, but the minute almost, is what we do.

We have had the time to share, converse, think through, research, challenge, ask about – to form thinking about – millions of ideas from around the world.

Then we throw out one of these ideas f2f,  and silence.

We are called names, like “rogue“.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 9.14.05 AMIt’s not so much that we might think differently, it’s that we learn differently.

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We learn through education 3.0, in a profession that is talking 2.0 while remaining firmly entrenched in 1.0.

 

 

And that’s the problem.

 

Shared by Dr. Jackie Gerstein under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/experiences-in-self-determined-learning-moving-from-education-1-0-through-education-2-0-towards-education-3-0/
Shared by Dr. Jackie Gerstein under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/experiences-in-self-determined-learning-moving-from-education-1-0-through-education-2-0-towards-education-3-0/

 

Featured Image: Shared by Dr.  Jackie Gerstein  under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license

RESOURCES

Dear Lone Wolf by David Truss (@datruss)

 

We Feel Lost – by Will Richardson

35 Years Later – by Tina Zita

 

Katie Martin: 5 Reasons Professional Development is not Transforming Learning.

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http://katielmartin.com/2015/10/05/5-reasons-professional-development-is-not-transforming-learning/

A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario

Not all the numbers are in yet, but it looks like it could be a majority Liberal government in Ontario.

For me, it means we can return to the work that the people of Ontario have asked us to do, as outlined in this video.

http://www.videodelivery.gov.on.ca/player/download.php?file=http://www.media.gov.on.ca/a0efff64e63ac895/en/pages/text.html

I’m excited to get back on track for Ontario students.

Leader, Take a Hike

Recently, I heard a leader in education say,“If you think you are leading, and nobody is following, you are only out taking a walk”.

I really liked this at the time, but the more I think about it, the more value I see in taking a walk.  While we usually want to move forward with our co-workers in education, there are times when you need to go alone, both literally and figuratively.

Walking (running, hiking, skiing, cycling) alone is where I do most of my reflecting and thinking, away from phones, tweets and email.  It is a time that has become more and more important as the principal position becomes busier and more complex in the current Ontario education climate.

But figuratively, taking a walk on my own lets me explore and try first before sharing and leading in my school.  I need my PLN to help me learn what I need to know so that we can accomplish our school goals (explained very well here).

Taking courses, enrolling in MOOCs, speaking at conferences, learning with others, all of these “walks alone” enhance my understanding and build my capacity to meet the needs of the people I teach and learn with every day.

At times, the walks become more of a hike, or even a marathon.  While we work to thrive on the edge of chaos, competing initiatives and expectations pull us in more than one direction.  As a principal, my access to information can be restricted as rules, narrowed mandates,  and chain of command supersede the need for principals to be resourceful, resilient and creative (Hargreaves 2005).  I frequently find myself at the edge of a cliff or the base of a brick wall, choosing to take a risk or climb even higher for a teacher or student whose need to move forward is more important than protocol or politics.2009 17 Hike over T Harbour

Walking alone allows for exploration, personal fulfilment, FAILing without an audience, and rest.  Walking alone makes me better prepared to return to my school, ready to share what is new and lead to new destinations, confident they are worth travelling to.

2009 07 Lupins

Hargreaves, A. (2005). Extending educational change. (pp. 1-14). The Netherlands: Springer.