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Showing posts from May, 2011

Sustainable Social Networking

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I received an email a few months ago from Twitter saying that I was four years old.  I signed up for Twitter way back in March 2007.  At the time I didn’t really have a clue what to do with the prompt “What’s happening?” and mostly forgot about Twitter until sometime in 2009.  A few colleagues had started to really use and benefit from Twitter and they kept nudging me to get on board.  I did and the rest is history…There are many different tools for various modes of networking around media and medium for video, bookmarking / tagging, blogging, socializing, sharing, business connecting, presenting, etc.  People often join social networking sites like Twitter as part of a workshop or learning series only to rarely or never return.  In my experience, the sign-up numbers vs active users are quite different.  Twitter is definitely growing though as evident in this 2010 graph:I just gave a talk and hands-on session at the BC ASBO annual meeting in Penticton BC on Social Networking for schoo…

Slaves of the Machine

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I was fast walking a steep incline on the treadmill at the gym the other day and all around me are people BBMing, texting, tweeting, Facebooking, emailing, and sometimes talking on their mobile devices.  I thought, ‘this is crazy, can’t people escape their devices for even an hour?’.  It occurred to me that perhaps people are becoming ‘slaves of their machines’ – they are becoming obsessed.We often read about the decline in readership for magazines and newspapers.  People have moved over to reading on their machines.  TV viewers have become Internet viewers and participants, via their machines.  Entertainment has moved to becoming machine orchestrated through XBox, Kinect, PS3, Game Boy, World of Warcraft, and ‘apps’, etc..  We can’t travel without a Google or Bing map, a GPS, or a cell, er smart-phone (for safety of course).  We use stoves, ovens, microwave ovens, toasters, griddles, irons, washers, dryers, furnaces, freezers, drills, saws, coffee makers, computers, phones, and lawn …

Learning without Boundaries Imagined from 2020

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Over the past couple of years our school district has been working to develop a ‘dream vision’.  We have been fortunate to have a top thought leader, Dr. Andy Hargreaves, working with us to develop an inspiring, inclusive, compelling, learner-centered vision: Learning without Boundaries.  Last week our Design Team met to “clearly define the SD43 dream vision, Learning without Boundaries”.  This team consisted of students, parents, teachers, principals, managers, superintendents, and trustees.One of the exercises our highly skilled facilitatorMyriam Laberge asked us to do, in advance, was a futurist activity (sure got my attention).  We were asked to (paraphrased):Imagine that it is now 2020. Over the past decade, the Coquitlam School District (SD43) has consistently built on its strong positive foundations to make its inspiring and inclusive dream of “Learning Without Boundaries” come alive through innovative, tangible and effective outcomes. In fact, the phrase, “learning without bou…

Capturing the Journey of Early Learners

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Our District has formed a small focus group of early learning teachers to experiment with documenting the learning of K-3 students (starting with a few Kindergarten classes) in an unconventional way.  Teachers will use video cameras, digital cameras, and audio recorders to capture students learning.  The intent is to make the learning transparent, to capture artifacts that can be used for various forms of reporting.  Parents could access their child’s “portfolio” of learning and see how they’re progressing relative to the curriculum.  Teachers will see how they could use this type of documentation to replace the traditional “report card” for formal reporting as well.
At this age group, play based learning is often the norm.  Video will be used to capture kids in action creating things, acting in a play, working in groups, drawing, and just playing together.  Student work will be photographed at stages and the pictures assembled to show a progression over time up to the finished work. …