Teaching – Not a Profession? Something to think about…

I participated in an Elluminate session with Guest – Linda Darling-Hammond, moderated by Steve Hargadon tonight. An Engaging discussion – it was. In particular, I found it interesting how Linda described the teaching field as “not a profession’. In this, she provided the three main characteristics of a “Profession” – 1) There is a moral commitment to do what is best for clients and make decisions, ie: Doctors make a pledge to do no harm or Engineers insist on safe standards (regardless of government cutting costs). 2) There is a common knowledge base – shared by all members of the profession. She gave the example that you can count on the fact that all doctors, engineers, and accountants will Continue reading Teaching – Not a Profession? Something to think about…

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Social Media, Twitter and the need for networked support – how far does our support really go?

Look at the “Seven Degrees of Connectedness” and think about how you nurture, support, and develop relationships on line, professionally and even personally. Do you have a close circle, a clique, a group of educators that you depend on – those in Stage 6 or 7? Do you have colleagues that work in your school, your district, your city – that you empower or that empower you? Do you have their back when they mess up, or need a pat on the shoulder, or need a word of praise here and there? Do you have the strength to DM them a concern? What would you do if you noticed they made an offensive remark? Are you prepared to have Continue reading Social Media, Twitter and the need for networked support – how far does our support really go?

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Due Diligence and Social Media, Gaming and 21st Century Learning. Will education Institutions be held accountable?

Due Diligence and Social Media, Gaming and 21st Century Learning. Will education Institutions be held accountable? “What?, you’ve been banned from 8 different servers?” I shrieked at my 11 year old son.   “It’s part of the game – to build trust, act normal, get more responsibility from the server owner and then, destroy” he explained. I gasped.   “In many servers, the point is to build and protect. If you are in a server shared by others, you always take the risk of having your things stolen and your creations destroyed…but for some players, hacking into a server and destroying is the main point”. I gasped. “But it’s not nice…..” So he explains, “most teachers and adults aren’t Continue reading Due Diligence and Social Media, Gaming and 21st Century Learning. Will education Institutions be held accountable?

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Will we value the skills associated with Social Media like we do traditional literacies?

Children are using social media. Who is teaching them? As a parent,  I see my own children (9,11) communicating online with anonymous friends during their Mindcraft episodes, Wii and Kinect games, Mathelectics and online forums. Often, I observe the server chats trying to picture who is on the other end, wondering if they are aware of networking safety, wondering if their parent, or teacher talks to them about network safety, about how to talk online vs. in private.    While I am thrilled that we are having these discussions online and within our PLN, it continues to concern me greatly that our districts and public education policies continue to put very little emphasis on the teaching of social media Continue reading Will we value the skills associated with Social Media like we do traditional literacies?

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Essential Tech Tools for NEW and Experienced Educators

What am I introducing to New Teachers as Essentials? While I focus heavily on the TPACK framework during teaching, here are a few of the TECHNOLOGY TOOLS/KNOWLEDGE that my course (s)  includes: In my current role as a Pre-Service Instructor at Brock University, I have small window of opportunity to introduce (and model) to new teachers to 21st Century Education.The following sites, and resources are what I consider to be the essentials of 21st Century tools (although there are many many more). These are  my “I can’t live without” tech tools as learner and teacher.  I am listing the best time-saving, collaborative, and integrated tools around! So open up your book marking tool, your Smartpen, or your favourite note Continue reading Essential Tech Tools for NEW and Experienced Educators

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Teachers Leading Teachers

These are a just few words that come to mind when I reflect on how I felt as I toured the hundreds of projects that were on display at the #TLLP2011 summit this past weekend in Toronto, Ontario. What an honour! Together, teachers gathered from across Ontario’s 72 District school boards – all grades, disciplines, subject levels, departments and from across a diverse province of French and English learners, Aboriginal communities and Gay and Lesbian groups to share insights, perspectives, research and best practice. If the passion and energy of these leaders could have been bottled up and harnessed for power, I am certain that it would be enough power to get us through the next hundred years. SEWATAHON’ Continue reading Teachers Leading Teachers

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New Teachers ‘…the times they are a-changin’

Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’. (Bob Dylan, 1964) There is a new group of teachers in town. For the next eight months, at Brock University in Hamilton, Ontario,  these teachers will learn and practice what it truly means to teach in the 21st Century. Nope. This doesn’t mean they will graduate as Information Technology Specialists. Nor does it mean that they will be computer programmers, or expert gamers, or trained ‘techies’. What Continue reading New Teachers ‘…the times they are a-changin’

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Connected Coach – an authentic Professional Development Model

From the bottom of my heart and with every single fibre of my body, I thank those leaders and principals and district decision makers for giving teachers an opportunity to learn with other teachers in an authentic, customized and  inquiry driven  environment that focuses on the most current and changing educational pedagogues. Thank you. There were  many key events that have happened in my   professional life over the last six months. Events that have changed my approach and my understanding of teaching and learning – especially as it relates to teacher Professional Development strategies. One of those events was my experience as a connected coach with the Powerful Learning Practice (PLP). While I’ve never had the opportunity to be Continue reading Connected Coach – an authentic Professional Development Model

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Why Relationships Matter: An ‘Unplugd’ Model

There are many takeaways from Unplugd11 and finding just one theme to write about is difficult. Do I write about the authentic collaboration and peer review of essays? Do I write about the deep conversations that took place in our small and large groups? Do I write about how 37 educators joined together, leaving behind organizational authority and leadership and worked in a truly distributed leadership model? Do I write about the impact that meeting face-to-face had on individuals who have only ever met in online spaces? Do I write about the risk people took when sharing their stories? Do I write about the blog reflections and twitter feeds, radio podcasts and photographs and skype calls that have resulted in Continue reading Why Relationships Matter: An ‘Unplugd’ Model

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New Knowledge in the Digital Age

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how Knowledge is changing in the digital age.  With all the amazing resources, tools, connections, community information, mediums, people -it really all comes down to access, information and data. The World Wide Web has allowed us to access people, places and community – and how we are handling the abundant sources of information and data – which is changing how we are thinking and learning. I wonder how this is changing how we are learning literacy itself? Information is constantly being reconstructed and reshaped – in real time through combinations of mediums and perspectives and links and ideas. Our knowledge is being accessed, shared, given by anyone – adults to children and Continue reading New Knowledge in the Digital Age

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