Showing posts from September, 2012

Love Learning

I just finished up an amazing week of learning.  I find that having a mindset of a learner helps turn difficult situations into teachable moments.  I was meeting with a Principal a few weeks ago and she was sharing how her staff and herself were feeling inadequate.  They’re all embracing some new models of learning and haven’t had much time for training or to figure out good practices.  She relayed that it’s causing stress.  After listening to her story, I suggested that they consider changing the word “inadequate” to “learner”.  She paused for a moment and allowed that small change to resonate.  If each one of us is honest with ourselves, we would admit we all feel inadequate at times.  I’ve read often how leaders especially feel increasingly alone and inadequate and worry about being “found out”.  I know I feel that way often – this might surprise those that know me but it’s true.  I think we unfortunately spend too much time worry about what we don’t know or that we don’t know how t

Face to Face

It’s interesting, actually encouraging, that with all the modern ways we have available to us to connect with each other, we still like to meet together face to face .  There’s just something inherently human and fulfilling about being together in the same physical space, shaking hands, looking each other in the eye, seeing facial expressions, and hearing the other person’s voice, live.  We travel all around the world to see amazing places and things, face to face .  I wonder though how things may get blurry with future, yet to be invented, digital devices? Last Tuesday a colleague and I received 10 principals from Denmark who were interested in our system of schooling and examples of educational technology.  We toured three schools visiting five classrooms.  They were able to have a great experience talking to teachers and students about their use of iPads to transform learning, various immersive uses of technology, technology used to support English as a subject, etc.  We also visi

Futuristic Feedback

There is a lot being written about what learning needs to become and how to inform learners, and those that have an interest in their learning, of their progress.  We all need to be effective learners: students in school, adults living life, and employees.  Will Richardson in his book Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere says “The World has changed – and continues changing – rapidly and radically when it comes to the ways in which we can learn, and what knowledge, skills, dispositions, and forms of literacy our children will need to flourish in their futures.” (Kindle 65) and “what happens inside of schools is going to change, now that the Web connects us the way it does.  It has to.” (Kindle 75). I wouldn’t limit this view to schools, this applies to all of us regardless of what we do in life or to earn our living.  There is a relentless march of change driven and accelerated by technological progress and invention, moving to con

Technology Can Amplify and Control Us

I’ve made a concerted effort this past year to use Facebook more often.  I know, that sounds a bit odd when we hear and read a lot about how much time people waste using social media tools like Facebook.  For me, Facebook has become the best and main way to stay in touch with many of my remote family members and to interact with “real” friends.  It feels good to get “likes” and comments on what I post.  I like to share photos from trips, biking, hiking, kayaking, walks, etc.  I also really enjoy seeing, liking, and commenting on friends and family’s photos, videos, and posts.  It’s fun to engage this way.  Facebook doesn’t consume an excessive amount of my time, perhaps 15 minutes a day.  For me, I can efficiently share a little bit of what’s going on in my life while learning about and staying in touch with the people I care about and know in the real world.  How do you use Facebook? Twitter is a tool I use almost exclusively for professional and learning purposes.  I rarely post an

Making Educational Technology Choices

A few years ago I led a learning team with seven K-5 teachers who came together to do some action research around the use of SMART boards in their classrooms.  Through that year I learned a lot about what’s possible and how challenging it is to effectively incorporate a foreign technology into pedagogy.  Often making technology choices requires a good compass to show them the way.  Learning teams have been a successful structure for our teachers in doing this.  Being a firm believer there’s always more to learn, I decided to participate in a workshop last week with about 20 teachers learning about SMART boards and in particular the Notebook software.  The workshop facilitator, Sasha Zekulin , was brilliant.  She really brought to life the capabilities and possibilities, light-bulbs were going off for many of the teachers. We live in exciting times don’t we.  Every week there seems to be some new technology invented and put on the market.  Educators and technology leaders are increas