Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Note-taking 2.0 at Canada 3.0

It's not quite live-blogging, but it's close.  I've been finding Storify to be a nice way to organize my thinking during the first morning of the Canada 3.0 Conference.

Monday, April 23, 2012

#LitSchool: The Power of Choice

Serendipitous learning happens every time I dip my toe into the Twitter stream.  Although I never know what I'm going to discover, I know I'm going to learn something.  Today, I found myself following tweets from Toronto where a literacy unconference was taking place.  While teacher-learners around the globe have made time on their own to attend edcamps and other informal professional learning events, it came as a welcome surprise that this highly engaging professional learning was taking place during the school day!

Tweeting educators from the York Region DSB used the hashtag #litschool to share their learning with us, and to allow us to engage from a distance. On site, topics that would frame the day's learning were developed by the participants who soon had a schedule to choose from.

From a few storified tweets, you can sense the engagement of learners who were present both physically and virtually.

In an age where professional learning is often dictated from above, it is refreshing to see a district school board model risk-taking. By allowing a model of inquiry to be experienced first hand, there is an even greater chance that teachers will take steps towards bringing such engaging practices to their classrooms.

 #nicemodel #wecandoit #letuslearn #giveuschoice

Followup reading: Is the PD Day Broken?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

You Don't Have Time to Read This

You got past the title?!

I'm taking that as a sign that you may be the type of person who's willing to make a few ripples (maybe even a few waves) to help reshape the educational landscape.   We need more people like you, people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world.  When you take on the challenge of redesigning approaches to teaching and learning, you are indeed participating in such a high calling.

Back in 2007, I adopted the moniker "The Clever Sheep", a tongue in cheek acknowledgement that I see myself as one who both follows and leads.   In addition to towing the line, I'm cheeky enough to try a few unexpected things as well, sometimes things that have never been done before.  Like Harold, the most dangerous of animals, I recognize that we're in a situation that requires innovation in the face of numerous obstacles.

As learning facilitators we have the duty to follow the lead of formally titled leaders, but each of us is also a leader in his/her own right. If every teacher (and every student for that matter) simply waits for directions to follow, then how can change possibly happen?  How can an entire system possibly grow into the uncomfortable spaces where true evolution takes place?

Modern learning is a question in search of an answer... and there is no single solution that will revolutionize the lives of teachers and learners.  There are countless strategies that are superior to last century's models for learning, but it will take a legion of clever sheep to invent, test and modify them.

You, dear reader, have a choice to make. Either limit yourself to doing what you are asked to do; or make the decision to get one with what you are called to do... to be a teacher who models learning, experimentation and risk-taking.

You really didn't have time to read this.  You have much more important work to do.  Join the crazy ones... get going and change the world!

Photo Credit: slimmer_jimmer

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

UnPlug'd 2012

Would you be interested in meeting like-minded colleagues face to face? Are you comfortable amid the hush of nature? Do you like to dine on healthy and nourishing food? Can you go three days without making a phone call or checking your email? Are you willing to join other educators in publishing your ideas?

If so, UnPlug'd 2012 might be perfect for you. This year's UnPlug'd event includes international delegates who will join us from Thursday, Aug 9 - Sunday, Aug 12th, beginning and ending in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Our organizing team has published a short bit of audio that we'd like you to consider as your personal invitation.

To further pique your interest, read a few of the reflections of last year's participants, or browse the hundreds of photos taken by last year's participants.

Consider this opportunity to think deeply about what matters most; to connect face-to-face with other intrepid teacher-learners; to renew your wonder-filled teacher spirit.  You are invited to add your profile at UnPlugd.ca and to complete the UnPlug'd 2012 application form.

CC Licensed photo courtesy of Lisa Neale