Showing posts from January, 2011

Tyler’s Loving School in 2016

Michael , Tyler’s older brother by a year, is teasing him about how much he likes school.  Tyler attends Centennial High School as a grade 9 student while Michael, in grade 10, is learning 100% online from home.  Michael had some difficulties “fitting in” at high school so he and his parents decided that this would be best for him.  Tyler on the other hand is loving grade 9 in his new school.  Tyler’s younger sister Stephanie also loves school and in particular her amazing grade 2 teacher.  Stephanie likes to call him“Ty”. Centennial is a brand new school designed and built for the future.  Back in 2010, a vision for Centennial was developed to create a school that would best serve the needs of students over the next 50 years rather than the past.  It is designed to have many small learning communities of about 150 students in multiple grades and content areas.  In a school of 1400, it still has a small “family” feel to it.  Most learning is cross-curricular and project based. 

Student Voices

In my work a lot of what I do is consult with groups to get input on new ideas and thoughts on proposed changes.  It wasn’t my normal practice to approach students for their input.  This year has been different…  In the fall I spoke to our Student Leadership Council (SLC), about 50 grade 6-12 student representing their schools.  I talked to them about technology and how I believe it will impact them in their lives.  But, what I consulted them on specifically was their thoughts on being digitally responsible. It is interesting to try to figure out the best way to consult with students.  I wanted them to take the questions I asked them back to their schools and to meet with other students to bring back a broad representative input.  Initially I asked them to respond to a blog post I wrote for them – Thoughts on being Digitally Responsible thinking “hey, they’re comfortable with these tools, a blog is a great way to get input”.  Well, it didn’t work out that way – to be honest I think

Self-sufficient or Inter-dependent?

I’ve been thinking a lot about our complex world lately and how our education system does or doesn’t match what we need.  There’s a lot of buzz about the need to support 21st century or personalized learning.  Although there isn’t necessary consensus on what that means or entails, my impression is that most people recognize that our world is quite different today and is rapidly changing and our education system should adapt accordingly.  Education hasn’t necessarily evolved and transformed fast enough to fully match our world’s needs.  I’ve written before about complexity ( Education for an automated future or Complexity is Everywhere ) and I am in awe of our potential.  I’m reading a couple of excellent books right now that are quite fascinating.  One is Macrowikinomics by Don Tapscott and the other The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley (thank-you @lisarink e for loaning this one to me).  I’m 39% through Macrowikinomics on my iPad and at p. 41 of Rational Optimist (traditional b

One person at a time

There is a lot of writing about “change” and how to make it happen and become the new normal.  Digital Technology has certainly become the prime mover of change in our modern age.  It causes significant disruption to what we know, what we are comfortable with, with the status quo – it often makes us uncomfortable.  Change can make us think that what we’re doing now isn’t good enough.  It’s difficult… In my role leading the technology portfolio in our School District, I have the opportunity to envision and test the potential of a change in technology, to create the change, and to help people join in with the change.  My last post, Why? , talks about being more purposeful in how I spend my time.  I would extend that to being more purposeful in what changes to pursue and accept – there are too many possibilities to consider and we need to be strategic in what we choose. I responded to a tweet by Chris Kennedy last fall asking about how we make change happen.  My response was ”On


A new year arrives and many of us are contemplating what the future will bring our way.  Some people make resolutions, often broken soon after.  Although I’m not into new years resolutions, I think it is good to think, plan, and engage in the future… today. “Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what has happened” Who do you want to become, what do you want to be different, better, and what are you going to do about it?  I encourage you to read this guest post over at George Couros’s blog The Principal of Change .  The author, Lesley Cameron , talks about trying new things, taking risks, with technology in her classroom.  She references a short clip “Two questions that can change your life” from Daniel Pink.  “What is your sentence?” is a powerful question to ask oneself.  Drive talks a lot about what motivates us and suggests that intrinsic (internal) motivation is a powerful force.  For me I think two sentences would be needed, one for m